Public Policy

As Northwest Indiana’s Regional Economic Development Organization and the Voice of Business Leadership, The Forum’s charge is to create/retain quality jobs and capital investment fostered by a business friendly climate, all in harmony with the environment.

The Forum takes positions on issues that its membership determines will have an effect on the development and creation of a strong globally competitive economy in Northwest Indiana. Focusing efforts on four areas we can address the most critical issues facing business and industry and the challenges of economic development. Positions are intended to facilitate smart planning and growth, support communities with incentive options, attract companies with the potential to create and retain quality jobs, improve the quality of life and support the Forum’s mission to increased broad based wealth in Northwest Indiana. A proactive policy approach is necessary to maintain the Northwest Indiana business climate.

The four main areas of interest for the Forum:

 

 PUBLIC POLICY WHICH PROVIDES FOR A COMPETITIVE BUSINESS TAX CLIMATE.

POLICY OR LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT WOULD IMPROVE LOCAL GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION. 

PUBLIC POLICY WHICH PROVIDES FOR INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORT AND DEVELOPMENT.

REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT WHICH PROVIDES FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH AND PROTECTS THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR RESIDENTS. 

2017 Legislative Agenda

As the regional economic development organization and the Voice of Northwest Indiana businesses representing Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, Starke and Pulaski counties, it is the Forum’s mission to retain and create investment in Northwest Indiana. The following represent our top priorities for the 2017 Legislative Session.

Investment of the Northwest Indiana Commuter Rail Expansion & Infrastructure: With Northwest Indiana’s proximity tot he nation’s 3rd largest economy, the continued investment in commuter rail will provide the means to retain and attract a talented workforce as residents of Northwest Indiana.

Transportation Infrastructure Legislative Improvements: The Forum recognizes the need to provide long term planning and funding of local and state transportation infrastructure projects as a critical component to the success of economic development in Indiana.

Protect Economic Development Incentive Programs: The Forum recognizes that economic development tools are critical to the attraction, retention, expansion to regional businesses while allowing consideration for flexible local control.

Workforce Development: The Forum supports providing public funding for assistance to businesses for training, maintaining and upgrading the skills of their new or incumbent employees.

Infrastructure improvements within the higher education sector of Northwest Indiana: The Forum supports funding for the Purdue University Northwest Bioscience Innovation Building from the State of Indiana.  The funding plan for the construction of the building is $40.5M.

Permanent funding of the Regional Cities Initiatives Grant Program: The Forum supports legislation action to incorporate inclusion of a permanent funding source for Regional Cities initiative grant dollars within the State of Indiana biennial budget.

Continued Support for the Coalition for the improvements of US 30: The Forum supports the continued study efforts of US 30 as a freeway without grade crossings from State Road 49 east to the Ohio/Indiana state line.


The Forum’s focus on initiatives for sustainable development and the creation and retention of quality jobs is supported by many business and industrial partners in economic progress.

The Northwest Indiana Forum works closely with many regional partners including:

Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC)
Regional Development Authority (RDA)
Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC)
Center of Workforce Innovations (CWI)
Quality of Life Council (QLC)