Federal Priorities

KY-Chamber-Title-Federal-Priorities.png

The Kentucky Chamber not only advocates on behalf of business at the state level, but also in the nation’s capital where congressional and executive-branch decisions have a direct impact on you and your business.   

Free enterprise creates jobs, opportunity and a successful business climate. The Kentucky Chamber advocates for federal policies that will result in economic growth, fewer government regulations and encourage policymakers to expand – not limit – job growth and economic opportunity through the decisions they make. 


Tax and Entitlement Reform

The Chamber urges Congress to address the serious fiscal challenges that continue to exacerbate the annual budget deficit and growing national debt. To protect the long-term fiscal health of the United States, it is imperative Congress pass tax and entitlement reforms that will fix the structural imbalance and begin to pay down the national debt. Permanent pro-growth tax reforms that will broaden the tax base and lower rates will give businesses the certainty needed to compete globally.

Along with tax reforms that will grow the economy and revenue, responsible reforms to America’s entitlement programs (many of which are presently unsustainable) are needed to ensure we do not continue to bury our citizens and children in more and more debt. 


 

Regulatory Reform

The Chamber recognizes the need for smart federal regulations to ensure workplace safety and to protect public health. At times rules are necessary to avoid states regulating industries in the absence of federal oversight. But with the huge cost of compliance and an increasing number of complex rules, it is clear our regulatory system isn’t working the way it should. Many regulations stifle economic growth and impose unnecessary costs that businesses have to pass along to their customers.  

Lawsuits are often filed due to the questionable legality of certain rules. The Chamber supports postponement of rules where legal challenges are present until all appeals have been settled.  

Businesses deserve a regulatory system that is fair for everyone, takes into account the views of communities and businesses, evaluates the impact the rules have, and protects our economic and personal freedoms. 


Immigration Reform

The Chamber supports comprehensive immigration reform that creates: 

  • A workable temporary worker program for highly-skilled and lesser-skilled workers as well as the agriculture industry;
  • A federal employment verification system that is 
  • reasonable and workable for employers; 
  • A legal status for the estimated 11 million undocumented people here, allowing them to emerge from the shadow and create a stable workforce; 
  • Improved enforcement to protect our borders while facilitating the flow of trade and travel.

Education

The Kentucky Chamber supports education policies that will prepare students, our future workforce, with the skills the workplace demands. That’s why the Chamber advocates for legislation and regulations that address shortcomings in our education system. It is vital that students leaving our public school systems be college or career ready, that higher education be accessible and affordable, and that employers have access to a workforce that meets their needs. 

Federal law should give states the ability to implement education policies that will drive innovation in our schools to promote opportunities for work-based learning opportunities such as internships and youth apprenticeships. The development of curriculum, standards and accountability systems must include meaningful input from businesses. 

A strong education system is crucial to preparing young people for good jobs and bright futures. The Kentucky Chamber will continue to support policies that help ensure Kentucky, and our nation, can develop and sustain a globally competitive workforce.


Energy and Environmental policy

The Chamber supports the development and expansion of American energy resources to improve energy security and create jobs in the United States. Reliable and affordable energy is essential to running a business and fueling economic growth and competitiveness. We support investments that will allow Kentucky to maintain its role as an energy leader and create further export opportunities for our coal and natural gas industries. The U.S. is on track to become a net energy exporter, an accomplishment that would place the U.S. at an economic advantage while enhancing our security.  

The Chamber has opposed federal regulations that threaten the Commonwealth’s low-cost energy advantage and our ability to expand business. Specifically, certain rules aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions threaten Kentucky’s electric power fleet and deter the extraction of viable natural gas reserves. These rules could limit the economic viability of power plants and wells, thereby limiting supplies of fossil fuels and forcing the state to rely on more costly alternatives.  

The Chamber supports the development of regulations that are stakeholder driven and based on scientific evidence, technical viability, and economic rationality.

The Kentucky Chamber fully supports the application of cooperative federalism principles with respect to the appropriate utilization and recognition of state and local primacy rights when implementing energy and environmental programs.


 

Health Care

The Chamber supports strategies and solutions to encourage health care reform that lowers cost, improves quality, expands access to health care and protects American jobs and the employers who create them. It has been more than five years since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and the Chamber continues to push for further reforms that are needed to lower health care costs and improve care. Within the ACA, the Chamber supports restoring the 40-hour work week, repealing taxes such as the excise tax (also known as the Cadillac tax), medical device tax and health insurance tax which all increase premiums and ultimately cost jobs.

The Chamber supports raising awareness of positive wellness initiatives, such as worksite wellness programs, which improve health outcomes, lower insurance costs and increase productivity. 

The Chamber opposes cuts on the federal level to Medicare and Medicaid programs.


International trade

The Chamber supports policies to open trade with promising markets abroad and to remove barriers that shut U.S. exports out of foreign markets.

The Kentucky Chamber is concerned potential tariffs could negatively impact economic growth and encourages the de-escalation of discussions surrounding trade that could be detrimental to our state and national economies.

Trade with Canada and Mexico is a significant driver of U.S. economic growth, and with a two decade record to examine, it’s plain to see that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has generated substantial new opportunities for U.S. workers, farmers, consumers, and businesses. The Kentucky Chamber welcomes the opportunity to update the NAFTA agreement, which supports 14 million American jobs.


Reliable and Secure Infrastructure

The Chamber supports efforts to improve the quality of America’s infrastructure, including investments in transportation, energy, waterways and wireless and broadband access. Transportation and energy infrastructure directly impact our ability to compete in the global economy.

The Chamber supports a comprehensive plan to ensure our transportation system does not crumble. This includes not only raising the gas tax, which hasn’t been increased since 1993, but encouraging the use of public-private partnerships and permitting streamlining for transportation projects so they can be completed in a timely, cost-efficient manner. 

The nation’s transportation system fuels economic development, creates jobs and enhances our overall competiveness. 


Legal Reform

Frivolous lawsuits are a drain on our economy and undermine true justice for legitimate victims.  The threat of frivolous lawsuits stifles growth, investment and competition and is bad for business. The Chamber supports comprehensive tort reform to end lawsuit abuse and ensure businesses receive the fair and equitable justice system they deserve. 


Intellectual Property

The Kentucky Chamber and its member companies are very protective of intellectual property laws; however, there have been increasing abuses by so-called patent trolls. Generally, there has been a perception that patent trolls mainly target tech companies. The truth is that they target a broad range of American businesses: large and small, tech and Main Street, manufacturers, realtors, restaurants, convenience stores, auto dealers and more. 

Protecting intellectual property is very important to entrepreneurship and job creation. This is why the Kentucky Chamber strongly supports reforms to prevent abuses of our system and advocates for a strong patent reform bill that includes: 

  • reforming abusive demand letters
  • making trolls explain their claims
  • protecting innocent customers
  • making patent litigation more efficient
  • stopping discovery abuses
  • making abusive trolls pay
  • providing less expensive alternatives to litigation

Cybersecurity

Cyberattacks are an increasing threat to Kentucky businesses across all sectors. It is critical that solutions are driven by the private sector with the support from policy makers and that there are opportunities for businesses to safely and voluntarily share information regarding risk and attacks. The Chamber supports efforts to further encourage voluntary sharing of information and steps to align cyber programs to avoid burdening multinational businesses with duplicative processes.

© Kentucky Chamber of Commerce · 464 Chenault Road · Frankfort, KY 40601 · (502) 695-4700