At Hillenbrand’s corporate headquarters in Batesville, Indiana Manufacturers Association President Brian Burton says companies made their biggest concerns clear in the IMA’s 2016 survey. They say they can’t find enough skilled production workers, he says, and they feel overwhelmed with government regulations.
“How do you comply with all of that?” Burton asks.
Burton says they’ll lobby during the next legislative session to pass the “no more stringent” bill, a watered-down version of which Gov. Mike Pence vetoed in March. It would keep state environmental rules from being stricter than the federal government’s.
The IMA will also oppose a bill to require businesses file combined tax returns with their out-of-state affiliates. Manufacturers also want the state to lower its business personal property tax rate.
Other goals include more state workforce development funds for manufacturing. Manufacturing makes up a bigger part of Indiana’s economy than in any other state. And Burton says it’s more in need of workers than, say, food service or cosmetology.
The IMA will hold several of these discussions around the state in the next few weeks. Its full 2016 survey results are out in October.