Baton Rouge, LA (April 6, 2023) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today announced the priorities for which the organization will advocate during the 2023 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature, which begins on Monday, April 10, and runs through June 8. BRAC’s focus for the session will center on advancing strategic goals to enhance the Capital Region’s economy and livability, including diversifying the region’s economy, improving educational outcomes, enhancing business competitiveness, and addressing public safety. BRAC’s legislative priorities can be found in full at brac.org/legislative-priorities.
“In an election year, you often hear that it’s harder to make large-scale changes, but that’s not stopping us from pushing for vital business legislation,” said Adam Knapp, BRAC president and CEO. “Our focuses this year span our strategic goals and include doubling down on creating a stronger economic landscape for our key industries of transitional energy and life sciences, plus evaluating policy enhancements for an increased quality of life that address the full spectrum of livability from crime reduction to entertainment attraction.”
BRAC’s 2023 legislative priorities are summarized below:
- Push to grow and attract life sciences companies to the state. BRAC will advocate for creating a targeted incentive for creating new laboratory spaces with an income tax credit based on the percentage of the cost to acquire, construct, or erect lab facilities during a tax year.
- Incentivize work-based learning opportunities for high school students by offering businesses a tax credit for paid internships that earn educational credits. This legislation proposes a credit of up to $2500 per intern, up to 10 interns.
- Reduce instances of repeat violent crime by creating operating standards for electronic monitoring devices. BRAC, and law enforcement partners, will support legislation establishing minimum standards, licensing, and oversight requirements for Offender Tracking Systems (OTS).
- Attract more headline concerts and entertainment to the Baton Rouge Area. BRAC is proposing legislation to attract more large shows and festivals, allowing East Baton Rouge Parish to offer a local sales tax rebate on admission to major live music and entertainment events that meet minimum paid admission requirements.
- Continue to improve infrastructure in the region. BRAC will continue to advocate to fully fund major regional transportation projects, including the I-10 widening, new Mississippi River South Bridge, new direct flights from the Baton Rouge airport, and passenger rail service.
- Research ways to attract transitional energy investments by creating a resolution to study and recommend programs and incentives to drive the advancement and deployment of new energy development in Louisiana.
- Increase innovation and entrepreneurship in Louisiana by extending the Angel Investor, Film, and Research and Development incentive programsbeyond 2025.
- Improve Louisiana’s economic competitiveness by protecting and renewing Louisiana’s tax and incentive policy framework and opposing measures that would negatively impact the state’s critical economic development incentive programs.
- Increase access to allied health professionals by funding the new nursing and allied health education complex at Baton Rouge Community College.
BRAC’s full rationale on its legislative priorities is available at brac.org/legislative-priorities.
About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) is an aggressively ambitious regional economic development organization with a bias for action. BRAC seeks to push Baton Rouge beyond the status quo, unleash its potential, and support a vibrant business community that believes the finish line does not exist. BRAC seeks to accelerate economic opportunity in the Baton Rouge Area, for everyone, through BRING IT! Baton Rouge, its five-year, regional strategic plan. Learn more about BRAC at brac.org.