The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce testifies at the Joint Committee on Finance State Budget Public Hearing
The Joint Committee on Finance held a public hearing at UW Stout on Thursday, April 22. Here, hundreds of Wisconsin residents waited in line for a chance to share with the Joint Finance Committee the projects and programs that mattered most to them and their communities. Members of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce also attended the public hearing to advocate for the second phase of funding for UW-Eau Claire’s Science and Health Sciences building.
As the advocate of business, the Chamber of Commerce supports a strong local and regional economy and advocates for policies that promote a good business environment and support efficient and effective government. The impact of the new science building is greater than just the local university campus. Rather, the Chamber recognizes that the building and partnerships with Mayo Clinic and Hewlett Packard Enterprise would attract greater talent in the STEM fields to Wisconsin in a way that no other current project would.
Attending the public hearing, then, was a way to demonstrate to state legislators the Chamber’s and the local community’s commitment to the UW-Eau Claire science building project.
“Two years ago, we came down for our lobbying days and you funded the first half of that project. The criticalness now, so that this building can be built once, is to put the second part of the funding into it,” President and CEO of the Chamber David Minor said.
Minor emphasized that the current Phillips Hall is outdated and deteriorating, urgently needing to be replaced. The new building will be crucial to the mission of UW-Eau Claire and its future. The valuable partnerships with Mayo Clinic and Hewlett Packard Enterprise would also continue to grow UW-Eau Claire’s campus enrollment and draw students from all across Wisconsin and the nation. “One of the things Eau Claire has going for its project is one of the benefits of Mayo Clinic; their doctors who are going to come do research in Eau Claire, are going to teach in Eau Claire… when you line up private sector businesses to the size of Mayo Clinic and Hewlett Packard, the infrastructure they’re going to put in, it will change the Chippewa Valley and the Eau Claire area forever.”
Chamber board members Scott Hoffmann and Mark Faanes and the Chamber’s Governmental Affairs intern Grace Hanson were also there to demonstrate local community support.
Menomonie’s public hearing was one of three in-person hearings scheduled in April to gather public input on Wisconsin’s 2021-23 budget. The first one was held at UW-Whitewater on April 9 and the second was at Rhinelander’s Hodag Dome on April 21. The Joint Finance Committee will also host an online session on April 28. Budget comments may be submitted on the Public Comment Website until noon on April 30.
Joint Committee on Finance State Budget Public Hearing- Menomonie (Wisconsin Eye)
Wisconsinites give their input on Evers’ budget in public hearing (WQOW News 18)
Public Comment Website (Joint Committee on Finance)
Posted by Grace Hanson, Governmental Affairs Intern
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.