Rome-Floyd Day at the Capitol is set for Tuesday, and chamber leaders will make their annual congressional pilgrimage to Washington, D.C., March 1-3.
Chamber President Al Hodge said that in addition to meeting with the entire Floyd County legislative delegation on Tuesday, the Rome group will have a chance to speak directly with both Gov. Nathan Deal and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.
The group will lobby on behalf of the Tennis Center of Georgia at Berry College and discuss the many issues related to the proposed closure of the Northwest Regional Hospital.
Later, 22 people are slated to participate in the annual trip to the nation’s capital during the first week in March. Meetings are set with Congressman Phil Gingrey as well as both U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson.
The chamber’s priorities for discussion are still being finalized, however issues ranging from water allocation and infrastructure, health care, the environment, transportation, education and economic development will be at the forefront.
City Commissioner Buzz Wachsteter suggested that a show of support for cancer research funding would be appropriate given the fact that the new Harbin Clinic Tony E. Warren Cancer Center would be opening in April and research activity would be one of its functions.
Berry College’s Whit Whitaker also wants to make sure the chamber asks the delegation in Washington to battle for transportation funding at levels to sustain important projects that are already in the books.
“If you don’t ask, you can’t receive,” said Carlton Ulmer, chairman of the Chamber Governmental Affairs committee, which met Wednesday. “Regardless of whether there’s funds being distributed, it shouldn’t prohibit you from still asking the important questions and making certain we get the resources that we need.”
The group is also expected to show strong support for the Community Development Block Grant program, which is facing the possibility of significant cuts in the budget President Obama proposed earlier this week.