Our Policy Agenda

NCI’s Policy Agenda

Advocating and defining economic and community development in North St. Louis County.

NCI is a not-for-profit regional development organization. And since 1977, we’ve been a catalyst for North St. Louis County’s growth and long-term sustainability.

There is room for everyone at our table, and we welcome voices from across the region. We are proud to collaborate with a diverse membership that includes municipal, community, and business leaders. Together we are dedicated to the sustainability and advancement of the residential and business climate of the region.

In everything we do, NCI is intentional in its efforts to strive for an equitable and inclusive community. We encourage the utilization of an equity lens to ensure that public policies and legislative actions always result in equitable outcomes for everyone impacted.

We invite you to browse our policy focus for this year and how we affect change.

Dr. Kristin Sobolik
Chancellor, University of Missouri-St. Louis
NCI Member

Economic
Development

North County Incorporated's (NCI) 2023 Annual Leadership Breakfast.
2023 Annual Leadership Breakfast.

We support the protection of proven, performance-based tax credits that leverage private investment and stimulate employment and economic growth for our region, encourage companies to invest in Missouri, provide a positive return on investment, and allow us to be competitive with other regions.

We support protecting existing incentive programs necessary to facilitate economic development, including Missouri Works, TIF, CID, TDD, Chapter 100 and 353.

We support programs that help small businesses become sustainable and increase growth potential.

We support funding that will increase educational attainment, workforce readiness, and training solutions to meet the region’s employment needs both now and, in the future, with a focus on encouraging investment in people and talent. This includes continued funding for Missouri One Start, Missouri Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant, and MoExcels.

We support policies that will increase the region’s percentage of adults with post-secondary credentials.

We support all employment opportunities and support services for people with developmental disabilities in Missouri, including their choice to work in a Missouri-sheltered workshop. We support policies that expand opportunities in the trades and federally recognized apprenticeship programs.

We support the State reviewing and improving existing laws that support business growth and job creation. These actions can strengthen the business climate in our State without creating additional State government expenses. We believe that when businesses are free from unnecessary regulatory burdens, they are much more likely to grow and create jobs.

We support measures to ensure the stability and reasonableness of unemployment insurance and ensure that workers terminated for violations of state or federal law do not receive unemployment benefits.

We support policies that stimulate an entrepreneurial culture and enhance the growth of small businesses.

We support assistance to small businesses with high growth and job creation potential, including mentoring, low-interest loans, matching funds, grants, and expansion capital.

We support initiatives to spur redevelopment efforts in economically distressed areas, such as tax credits for brownfield clean-up.

We support meaningful liability reform for brownfield sites to encourage their turnover to a productive use.

We support legislation that creates regional solutions and partnerships to improve neighborhoods in downward transition.

We support legislation that provides for rebuilding and conserving assets while guarding against policies that imprudently use taxes to unnecessarily develop large areas that cause conflict with the sustainability of already established communities.

We support public policy for infrastructure projects that articulates reasonable costs without placing a large financial burden on residents and businesses.

We support incentives and funding to enhance the region’s logistics, distribution, and transportation infrastructure capabilities, with an emphasis on global competitiveness.

We support infrastructure projects that would significantly grow our region’s economy, promote transportation infrastructure growth, and connect workers to jobs, such as growth at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and Metro transit expansions.

We support the creation of a commission to help in the development of higher speed wireless service for St. Louis County through a coordinated permitting effort with all our municipalities.

Education

Groundbreaking event at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Groundbreaking event at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

We support increased investment in early childhood education, particularly policies that bridge the gap between subsidies given for childcare and the cost of participating in high-quality childcare.

We support policies that expand access to high-quality early childhood education programs, especially for at-risk children.

We support a state-wide quality rating system for early childhood programs.

We support funding access for early childhood staff to obtain credentials in child and family development. We support increased investment in specialists and staffing to support children with special needs.

NCI will support the plan/idea to revisit the compulsory age of 7 so children in Missouri are in school at an earlier age in preparation for state-mandated testing, reading and math improvement, as well as increased graduation rates.

Funding

We support appropriations for public schools enough to fully fund the Missouri Foundation Formula, including categorical funding (i.e., transportation services) and all state-mandated initiatives for education. We encourage the General Assembly to fund Missouri public schools in a mindful and equitable manner necessary to adequately invest in the future of the 900,000 public school children throughout the State.

We support the increase in salaries to attract and retain quality educators.

We support legislation increasing funding for after-school programs.

We support expanding the investment in 529 Match College Savings Accounts.

We support the restoration of full funding for the Parents as Teachers program.

We support increasing the bonding capacity of school districts.

We support all schools accepting public funding for education to be held to the same accountability standards.

We support legislation mandating fair and accurate property assessments.

We support increased funding and the creation of initiatives to provide training to schools and administrators that allow schools to utilize the resources available in their communities to provide mental healthcare to students. The growing mental health crisis is having a dramatic effect on students. Resources to address mental health either do not exist or they are fragmented in local communities. Additionally, there is a lack of expertise on the part of educators and schools to know where to begin to address mental health.

We support school districts examining their curriculum and require schools to have reading success plans that encourage a phonics-based core curriculum, and teachers to be trained in the curriculum.

We support strengthening mathematics programs in elementary schools (K-5). Mathematics is the pipeline to STEAM careers. If students leave elementary schools prepared for more advanced math programs in higher grades, this will lead to more students entering advanced math courses necessary for STEAM pathways; eventually, this will provide professionals needed to meet the high workforce demands in our region.

We support the local autonomy of school districts. Local school districts are in the best position to determine the most effective use of funds and other resources and provide safe learning environments.

We support legislation that respects locally elected school board’s authority to govern effectively within their districts. 

We support innovation for public schools to create more equitable learning opportunities for positive educational outcomes for all children.

We support the goals of the Missouri Assessments Partnership to implement an adaptable and comprehensive assessment tool that accurately evaluates continuous growth and life readiness for student learning.

We support and encourage partnerships between public high schools and post-secondary institutions.

We support public schools and the equitable access that they provide to all children for a free quality education.

We support North County parochial schools and the value they provide to families and communities in North County.

Funding

We support increasing core funding levels for our higher educational providers.

We support protecting core funding and stable allocations for higher education workforce training and skills development programs, especially in the key areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. We support expanding manufacturing training, information technology and information systems training, and for programs to provide additional highly skilled workers in the health and mental health care fields. We support equitable funding for higher education sectors and institutions. We support plans to provide capital funding for new construction, for maintenance and repair of existing buildings, and for equipment for both the University of Missouri-St. Louis and St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley.

We support fully funding the A+ Scholarship Program for all eligible students.

We support increasing opportunities for dual credit/dual enrollment for high school students.

We support funding for building aligned career pathways to meet current and future workforce needs that include K-12 public education, Community College System, 4-year universities, and business leaders.

Healthcare

Rick Stevens
President, Christian Hospital
NCI Executive Board Member

We support the passage and re-authorization of the Federal Reimbursement Allowance, ensuring adequate state funding for the continuation of Missouri’s Medicaid program.

We support full, affordable, and comprehensive access to health insurance, as well as informed choice of doctors, hospitals, and insurance plans. We oppose health insurance mandates that undermine the ability of employers to provide high-quality health insurance at a reasonable cost.

We support additional funding for behavioral and mental health staffing and services.

We support adequate and timely Medicaid reimbursement to providers.

We support certificate of need regulations that ensure a level playing field between hospitals and specialty providers.

Transporation/
Infrastructure

I-270 expansion project in North St. Louis County.

We support efforts to obtain full funding for improvements for the I-70 corridor from the Missouri River to Hanley Road and around the St. Louis Airport.

We support investment in infrastructure that creates jobs, connects where people live with centers of employment and education, and ensures employers have ready access to critical utilities and freight networks.

We support adequate Missouri transportation funding and a formula that reflects the economic strength and development needs of the St. Louis region, encouraging the consideration of economic development and job creation impact when funding future projects.

We support the protection of the fuel tax increase that voters approved in 2021.

We support the emphasis on the maintenance of existing infrastructure.

We support maintaining St. Louis’ representation on the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission and oppose efforts to redistribute money away from the St. Louis region.

 

We support policies and funding for Metro services that strengthen equitable access to economic opportunities, promote more effective and sustainable system operations, and advance system expansions and service improvements in accordance with the Long-Range Transit Plan.

We support the expansion of the MetroLink from UMSL to STLCC and from STLCC to the North County Transit Center.

General Issues

Groundbreaking event.
Groundbreaking event.

We encourage efforts to increase affordable housing options for persons with disabilities.

We support efforts to increase the rehabilitation of older, underutilized, and abandoned single-family housing stock throughout the community to return these homes back to a livable and attractive condition, keep them affordable for purchase, and get them back on the tax rolls.

We support policies and funding solutions to rehabilitate, improve, and require increased maintenance of single-family and multifamily rental property. We encourage stronger reporting to be required by owners of rental property to make it easy to identify who the responsible party/owner is. We encourage increased code enforcement of rental properties.

We support efforts to encourage citizen participation in partnering with law enforcement officials for public safety. We support policies to reduce overall crime in the St. Louis region with a focus on measurable and meaningful reduction in the rate of violent crime.

We support significant efforts underway to protect the enormous multi-government investment in Metrolink. Metro has overhauled its Public Safety leadership team, contracted security staff, and operations and has entered into renewed agreements with all its policing partners. This work must continue to prioritize a more effective law enforcement presence on the transit system through collaborative and community-oriented policing by accredited police departments, and all public safety partners must be encouraged to work together to ensure public safety on this critical public transit system.

We encourage all community stakeholders to carefully examine current policies to eliminate all inequities caused through racial profiling in a meaningful and effective way to restore minority community trust in public safety institutions.

We support Emergency Medical Services (EMS) both fire department and hospital-based agencies that provide lifesaving and essential healthcare through the 911 services in St. Louis County. We encourage these organizations to form community partnerships to address needs in education, injury prevention, wellness, and mental health. We support programs that expand equal opportunities for education, training, mentorship, and employment in the emergency medical field.

We support the Regional Fire Departments and Fire Protection Districts that provide essential 911 services in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area. We support innovative fire service leadership that addresses the hazards associated in fire/rescue/hazardous materials incidents and complying to minimum NFPA standards. We encourage these organizations to address the needs of their community in education and prevention programs. We support programs that expand equal opportunities for employment in training and educational programs for the fire service.

We support funding the clean-up, financial reimbursement, and support services for households and organizations impacted by harmful/adverse historical and current environmental contamination.

Local Government

Governor Parsons during a MODOT project signing.
Governor Parsons during a MODOT project signing.

We support financial and tax policies that allow greater flexibility for local governments to adapt to technological and economic changes that impact funding for core services. A new far-reaching tax policy discussion is needed with input from officials at all levels of government to design a system that moves Missouri forward. Isolated changes, especially exemptions with vague benefits, should be avoided. The goal of creating a tax policy that is equitable to all while allowing local governments the needed revenue to maintain quality and mandated service should be prioritized. Objective analysis should govern efforts to offer state tax incentives and exemptions, which should avoid financial harm to local governments.

We support legislation that would allow for more efficient methods for enforcement of municipal fines and orders. We would also support a reevaluation of the current fine structure.

We support the Legislature supporting local efforts to maintain viable and sustainable communities and allow cities the necessary latitude to set guidelines for land uses that promote responsible development, balance the desires of citizens, preserve property values, and protect the rights of property owners.

We support legislation that would provide all municipalities with the authority to require owners of rental property to provide contact information for responding to questions or concerns about the property. This contact information at a minimum must include the name, address, telephone number and emergency contact information for the owner of the property. Properties that are owned by individuals or entities that do not reside at that location should be required to have a local contact for the property. Additionally, all cities should be granted legislative authority to enact minimal fees for landlords to help defray the costs of a landlord registration program or other issues related to rental properties.

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