Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman joined a bipartisan group of governors, local policy makers and business leaders today at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's 2012 Jobs Summit to discuss policies that produce economic growth and examine how states across the country are increasing competitiveness. A new study was unveiled at the summit, which finds that states that boost exports, foster innovation, provide businesses with certainty and reasonable taxes, insist on excellence in education, and prioritize infrastructure are leading on job creation and economic growth. The study, Enterprising States, was commissioned by the National Chamber Foundation and prepared by The Praxis Strategy Group.
"The federal government has something to learn from these enterprising states," said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue. "If you want jobs and growth, you need to create an environment where private-sector businesses, entrepreneurs, and capital are welcome and can grow and thrive."
Ranked sixth in the nation for tax and regulatory climate and 12th in overall economic performance in this year's Enterprising States study, Nebraska and Governor Heineman's focus on tax reform, infrastructure improvement, and innovation and entrepreneurship has paid economic dividends. Nebraska has streamlined and cut taxes on businesses and individuals and created new tax incentives for businesses in high potential industries. The state has also committed itself to a 20 year infrastructure upgrade program with the Build Nebraska Act to invest in statewide capital improvements. To harness the research and development power of its higher education system, Nebraska adopted the Business Innovation Act designed to increase technology transfer from its universities into the market, supporting business growth and creating jobs for Nebraska students.
"In Nebraska, we have prioritized job creation and education, which has resulted in record tax relief for hard-working middle class families, increased investment in education, fostering entrepreneurship and innovation in business, and a 3.9% unemployment rate that is half of the national average," said Gov. Dave Heineman. "While each state must do what is best for their citizens, lower taxes and less regulation are key components to our nation's overall economic health."
Other governors participating in the Jobs Summit included Jack Markell from Delaware, Gary Herbert from Utah, and Scott Walker from Wisconsin.
"The governors we heard from today are on the front lines of our nation's economic challenges, and they are producing the kinds of innovative policies that will drive growth and improve the future of their states," said Margaret Spellings, president of the Chamber's U.S. Forum for Policy Innovation. "Our Enterprising States study highlights specific policies and programs that states can undertake to foster growth--all driven by sound free enterprise principles."
The Enterprising States study highlights specific strategies that all 50 states are employing to remain competitive and restore jobs. It also outlines the top ten future "boom states," which are best positioned to grow, create jobs, and prosper in the coming years.
The National Chamber Foundation (NCF), a non-profit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is dedicated to identifying and fostering public debate on emerging critical issues. They provide business and government leaders with insight and resources to address tomorrow's challenges.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.