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Today’s the first day of work for the Unicameral, as Mike Moser begins his term as our state senator. The Chamber welcomes Sen. Moser and very much look forward to working with him on issues that impact business and the 22nd District.

Our partners at the Nebraska Chamber are the connection we use to the work in Lincoln. They monitor bills, engage with senators and the governor, and keep us abreast of issues that need the attention of the business community. Clearly the actions of state government impact our ability to recruit and retain both people and businesses.

The Chamber Legislative Committee is the arm of our organization that directly connects with the State Chamber, as well as doing their own monitoring and action on bills that can change the business climate in Nebraska. They’ll hold their first conference call with the State Chamber on Jan. 31 and basically every two weeks after that for the rest of the session. They invite you to join them to engage in this work. The meetings are open to any employee of all Chamber members.

The Nebraska Chamber also monitors the state's performance in categories that matter to the business community and this week they published a list of how we stack up. I thought it might be interesting for you to see how Nebraska is faring these days, so below are some recent comparisons in which Nebraska has performed well.

1st - Economic Development Projects Per Capita (Site Selection, 2017 & 2018)

1st - State Fiscal Solvency (Mercatus Center, 2018)

1st - Power Grid Reliability (U.S. News, 2018)

2nd - Millennial Unemployment Rate (WalletHub, 2018)

2nd - Affordable Housing (WalletHub, 2018)

3rd - Top States For Millennials (MoneyRates, 2017)

4th - Lowest Unemployment Tax (SBE Council, 2018)

4th - Business Incentives (WalletHub, 2018)

4th - Low Unemployment (U.S. News & World Report, 2018)

4th - Labor Force Participation (U.S. News & World Report, 2018)

4th - Best States For College Students (MoneyRates, 2018)

5th - Best States For Business (Forbes, 2018)

5th - America's Happiest States (WalletHub, 2017)

5th - Lowest Electricity Rates For Residential Customers (HowMuch.net, 2018)

6th - Shortest Commute Time (U.S. News & World Report, 2018)

7th - Best States to Find A Job (U.S. News & World Report, 2017)

7th - Best Legal Climates for Business (U.S. Chamber, 2017)

7th - Best for Company Headquarters (U.S. News & World Report, 2018)

8th - Lowest Electricity Rates for Commercial Customers (HowMuch.net, 2018)

9th - Best States for Retirement (Bankrate.com, 2018)

10th - Renewable Energy Use (U.S. News & World Report, 2018)

Obviously there are rankings where Nebraska isn’t quite so high, but as you can see there are plenty of things in which Nebraska can take pride as we talk to prospective new residents or new businesses. Hopefully, this list grows as a result of the work in Lincoln during this session.

K.C. Belitz is the outgoing president of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce.

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