REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES/INVESTMENT HUBS: Strong communities make a strong state. Therefore, OneZone supports efforts for the creation of a regional development authority framework to pursue transformational projects that allow quality of place and talent retention as well as attraction projects to continue in the state while fostering a regional collaboration model. This would not require any investment from the State, but would allow communities to have more flexibility with their tax dollars.
SCHOOL SAFETY: There is no economic development driver stronger than our schools. OneZone supports efforts by the State to provide both nation-leading education funding and local governance in education, particularly on issues related to school safety. This includes, but is not limited to: easier access to funding and/or grants for schools to purchase security equipment, engagement of school resource officers for coverage at all facilities, and/or funding for capital improvements; liability protection for good-faith first responders and those involved with safety planning; review of the juvenile justice system to better address risk presented by school violence; local governance to develop the best approach for each community; maximum sharing of information and gathering of information about students and potential threats to assist in safety planning; increasing support for social emotional needs for direct services and/or collaboration with regional providers; and responsible weapon security including preventing access to weapons by those that should not have them, including children.
TOBACCO REFORM: Indiana’s tobacco use costs Hoosier businesses over $6 billion a year in health care costs, absenteeism, and productivity loss. Therefore, OneZone supports increasing the age for legally purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old. We support an increase in the tobacco tax as a disincentive to the sale of tobacco products. We also support repealing preferential treatment for smokers in the workplace (AKA “Smokers Bill of Rights”) and taxing vaping/e-cigarette products similarly to how the state taxes traditional tobacco products.