For 42-plus years LIBA (liba.org) has been the voice of business in Lincoln and standing up for small business. For Lincoln to prosper the business community needs an advocate to make our community business friendly. A vibrant economy is dependent upon a robust business economy. Each year the committees of LIBA and the Board of Directors work together to develop a list of legislative priorities to guide our involvement at the local, state, and national level and when interacting with our elected representatives. Looking toward the upcoming year, LIBA will continue to be the voice for business with the following priorities in mind.
Reduce Regulation on Business: LIBA supports easing the tax burden on business and focusing on alleviating the pressure caused by property taxes. Government getting out of the way of business and allowing entrepreneurs to grow business is what will have the greatest, most lasting impact on growth in our community. During the pandemic, businesses were served with government restrictions which caused many businesses to close or downsize. Government regulations on business shall not be ones which cause businesses to close and for people to lose their jobs.
Public Safety: The City and County should be focused on the recruitment and retention of officers for the Lincoln Police Department, Lancaster County Sherriff’s office, corrections and Lincoln Fire and Rescue. The safety of our community is important for citizens and for business. Businesses have experienced a great deal of crime against businesses in recent history. LIBA has constantly advocated for greater investment in public safety to benefit businesses and the greater community.
Infrastructure: LIBA supports fixing and maintaining our streets, roads, and bridges while developing the necessities along the South Beltway and examining an additional water source for Lincoln. Investment in streets, roads and bridges are important for businesses to get their goods to market and to receive the materials necessary for their success. LIBA will continue to advocate for investment in infrastructure to make our community more attractive for business to succeed. During the floods in 2019 Lincoln was on the verge of losing our water source. Moving forward, Lincoln needs to evaluate the options availability, then determine and secure a secondary water source.
East Beltway: With the pending completion of the South Beltway, the focus needs to be on completing a connection between the South Beltway and Interstate 80. Our community has an opportunity to be visionary for generations to come by working to make the East Beltway a reality.
Governing with a Growth Mindset: We will advocate for policies that provide for planning and zoning growth along the expanded corridors for the community. This includes planning and zoning procedures which are friendly to future growth and development in manufacturing, retail, hospitality, and residential expansion.
Government Transparency: LIBA has always advocated with our elected officials to create a more accessible and user-friendly budget tool, more detailed reporting of allocation of funds and purposes for each department. Over the years LIBA worked with Lincoln Public Schools to improve the transparency of their budget and has been included in the changes to the budget process today, which is now the way the budget is presented by LPS. LIBA will continue to work with other political subdivisions to promote this kind of government transparency.
Performance of Nebraska Students: In the past LIBA has been involved in education policy where student performance standards are important to provide consistency for evaluating student outcomes. A well-prepared student population will serve the business community with a workforce ready to provide the necessary skills business needs to thrive and grow.