LEGISLATIVESOURCE is the resource by which MAM provides focused legislative advocacy for the growth and development of Missouri's manufacturing sector, a critical component of a vibrant economy. MAM focuses on issues that are important to our members and provides opportunities for interaction with state and federal legislators.
The Missouri Association of Manufacturers (MAM) is an independent, non-governmental, voluntary organization of manufacturers. Its efforts are directed toward the promotion, preservation and advancement of all aspects of manufacturing for the general welfare of the state of Missouri. To this end, MAM represents manufacturers and promotes manufacturing for the continual improvement of the community, the economy and the environment. MAM believes that property rights and personal freedom are guaranteed by the United States Constitution.
MAM is organized to do what its members want done. It provides a means by which manufacturers can work together toward the goals upon which they agree. MAM believes that economic progress is best achieved in a free market system.
MAM believes in taking an active part in governmental affairs in order to influence public policy. MAM believes in researching legislation, weighing its effects on manufacturing in Missouri, and educating members and their employees on the importance of their vote and their need to accept responsibility in public policy.
Public Policy Positions
MAM will promote progressive international trade policy that opens global markets and reduces regulatory and tariff barriers. We believe this objective can best be achieved by limiting costs imposed on manufacturers and by utilizing a rules-based international trading system that enhances the role of free market force.
MAM supports modernization of the outdated US export control system to encourage exports and strengthen national security. It is essential that trade agreements are enforced vigorously in order to ensure that US companies achieve new market access and a level playing field.
MAM supports expanded export promotion programs as well as export credit assistance for both small and large firms. MAM opposes preferential treatment of foreign investors and insists that all foreign investors be subject to the same tax liabilities as US citizens.
MAM supports capitalizing on Missouri’s existing resources and infrastructure to create new business development and bolster the state economy through international trade.
MAM believes manufacturers are negatively affected by the growing regulatory burden at the state and federal level. MAM believes members of the Missouri General Assembly and the US Congress should do more to reduce this regulatory burden and create a regulatory environment that promotes economic growth.
MAM supports the creation of a task force or other means to measure the cumulative impact of regulations affecting manufacturers and believes this measurement should be completed prior to the implementation of any regulation impacting manufacturing. Missouri must maintain a regulatory environment that will not put it at a competitive disadvantage to bordering states.
3. Energy Policy
We believe that affordable, reliable and sustainable energy is essential to a thriving state economy. As projections for energy demands continue to steadily increase, MAM supports measures that reduce dependence on foreign energy by increasing domestic supply, and increasing the availability of affordable and reliable energy through expanding overall energy production from increasingly cleaner sources, promoting broad-based energy efficiency measures and encouraging investment in alternative energy technologies. Proposed energy policy must be comprehensive and must consider all forms of available energy, including natural gas, coal, nuclear, hydro, wind, solar and biofuels in order to meet the growing demand, and must be revenue-neutral and must not unduly impact the business community.
A strong pro-business climate is critical if Missouri is to be successful in competing for industry jobs in a global economy. MAM encourages responsible stewardship of state finances and a balanced state budget without placing undue tax burdens on the business community or reducing the effectiveness of essential state programs.
MAM believes that any tax reform should promote business activity, while achieving revenue and budget neutrality and administrative simplicity.
Reforms should also eliminate double taxation and should not disproportionately impact the business community.
MAM believes the prime objective of long-term tax policy should be to maintain competitive tax rates that are low enough to attract the capital formation and investment necessary to ensure durable economic growth.
MAM supports tax provisions that will stimulate investment and recovery, including a permanently funded research and development (R&D) tax credit program in Missouri.
5. Education and Workforce Development
Manufacturers’ ability to innovate and succeed in the highly competitive global marketplace will depend on access to an educated, flexible and knowledge-based workforce.
To help match manufacturers with highly skilled workers, we must improve the quality of education in our early childhood, primary, secondary and post-secondary school systems. We must also improve job training programs to address life-long learning and the continuous demands of training and re-training workers.
The strength of Missouri manufacturing and the continued growth of high-technology industries depends on the availability of high-quality personnel, especially in the scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical (STEM) disciplines. MAM encourages and supports intensifying cooperation among government, academia and industry in programs to encourage the highest quality STEM education at all levels to fill the talent pipeline.
MAM supports early childhood programs that assist in the development of our children at a young age. Access to high quality early education and learning opportunities is integral to helping today’s children prepare for the highly competitive, fast-paced global economy. These skills are often developed prior to a student’s arrival in the elementary school setting, placing a great emphasis on the need for high quality early childhood development and support services that can improve school readiness.
MAM will encourage successful job training programs that enhance workforce skills and attract and retain employers in Missouri. MAM supports increased appropriations for workforce training incentives and technical education programs that offer customized skill and classroom training and retraining to existing, new and expanding businesses. MAM encourages the state legislature and the governor to protect funding for training in order to enhance Missouri’s workforce.
6. Labor and Industrial Relations
Employer-employee relations should be conducted in a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect. Both parties have a stake in maintaining workplaces that are productive and competitive. Emphasis and resources should be placed on solving problems and resolving issues. MAM opposes any work rules, wages and benefits, or regulations that introduce conflict into employer-employee relations.
Workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, and labor relations are all issues that directly impact Missouri employers’ bottom lines. Holding the line on the cost of these systems means a great deal to Missouri businesses and it also affects the choice of new businesses choosing to locate in Missouri. While the civil justice reforms passed in 2005 were a step in the right direction, we must be diligent in upholding these reforms and protecting Missouri employers against new threats.
Workers’ Compensation reforms passed in 2005 have reduced costs for Missouri employers, and the MAM must continue to be diligent to protect the advances made through these reforms.
The fiscal instability of Missouri’s Second Injury Fund and Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund has been an issue for several years. MAM will work to analyze and address the best solutions moving forward to protect Missouri workers and employers.
Manufacturers are committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for their employees. MAM believes the right approach for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in this effort is to focus on delivering compliance assistance programs rather than aggressive enforcement action.
Both state and federal regulations should be based on sound science and should be feasible for employers to implement while remaining competitive. Such approaches should enable employers to design programs that best fit the needs of their workplaces.
MAM opposes the Employee Free Choice Act, or any other legislation that would compromise the rights of employees to unionize through the secret ballot process, expose workers to union intimidation, and impose federally-appointed arbitrators into contract negotiation. MAM supports the rights of workers to voluntarily join unions under fair and democratic rules, but opposes legislation that would impose new and costly regulations on businesses, disrupt the way businesses are run, and stifle productivity and economic growth.
MAM believes that it is a person’s inherent right to choose whether or not to join a union and to direct the allocation of their income. Every individual should have the freedom to negotiate with their employer, individually or collectively. The terms of an individual's employment shall not be denied or infringed upon by law or by any organization. MAM requests that legislators support Right To Work to stimulate job creation and a robust economy. Missouri legislators are encouraged to provide all Missourians with the freedom to choose and make Missouri a Right To Work state.
MAM believes employers should have the right to give honest and relevant references and referrals for current or former employees without fear of retribution. MAM supports legislation that will permit an employer to make fair and accurate references regarding a former employee without the possibility of retribution. This change in the law would also protect Missouri workplaces from hiring potentially dangerous employees.
7. Health Care
MAM recognizes that health care continues to be one of business’ largest costs and supports initiatives, policies or programs that make the delivery of health care services more accessible, less costly and more efficient.
MAM supports health care reform that focuses on wellness and preventative care and encourages consumer accountability. MAM supports the development of public/private health care partnerships between providers, insurers, government and employers to demonstrate innovative ways to help employers to provide incentives for wellness and maintain health care benefits for their employees without shifting costs of the uninsured disproportionately to employers already providing coverage.
MAM encourages the development and usage of health information technology to allow the delivery of health care services to be less costly and more efficient. Such a system will allow information concerning a patient’s health history to be readily available and will assist in reducing duplication of services and the number of incidents of medication waste and errors, fraud and abuse. Accessibility will also lead to increased responsibility of individual health decisions. Individual patients should also have access and personal ownership of their health-related data in electronic format and at no time shall this information be comprised for marketing purposes.
MAM will work to ensure that health care consumers can readily access health education and consumer information so they can evaluate and compare the pricing and quality of health care services and health insurance products in order to make informed decisions about their options.
Each year numerous legislative proposals are filed that would mandate health care coverage for certain health care benefits. While some may be well-intended, these mandates can drive up the cost of health care, potentially forcing some employers out of the health insurance market. MAM, while encouraging decreased health care costs and increased employer access to affordable quality health care, is generally opposed to health care benefit mandates and provider mandates. We further encourage the review of existing mandates.
MAM will support efforts to preserve a healthy environment and to protect Missouri’s natural resources. MAM will work with the public sector to ensure that efforts to achieve these goals do not put Missouri businesses at an economic disadvantage over companies residing in other states. MAM supports the idea that sound environmental practice is good economic practice as long as the costs of a particular regulatory action and its expected benefits are balanced with the expenditures of public and private resources. MAM will advocate for environmental standards that are based on scientifically sound, transparent and peer-reviewed facts, and that the costs are borne equitably.
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