Immediate action yielding long-term benefits
By: Dave Adkisson, President & CEO, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
These days it seems that everyone in Washington has a “jobs plan.” As Kentucky’s largest business organization, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce knows first-hand the importance of job creation to a recovering economy. But creating sustainable jobs is greater than a temporary plan to boost growth. That’s why the Chamber has been an advocate of policies that promote both economic growth and personal well-being for citizens of the Commonwealth for more than 60 years.
Each year we produce a Legislative Agenda – a policy document developed by our members that is used to guide our lobbyists as they represent the business community in Frankfort. In this year’s agenda, we’ve given special emphasis to the items we believe warrant immediate action in order get Kentuckians back to work. We feel that there are 15 items on our agenda that will play an important role in the 2012 General Assembly that could be key to promoting growth in the Commonwealth.
The following items are broken down into the categories representing the Chamber’s five main goals to advance Kentucky: Improve education attainment, modernize government at all levels, improve the health and wellness of Kentuckians, prepare Kentucky to compete in the global marketplace, and improve Kentucky’s role as an energy leader.
To prepare Kentucky's workforce for job growth, we must:
- Prevent attempts to weaken Kentucky's higher academic standards.
- Increase the compulsory school attendance age to 18.
- Promote quality teaching – reward great teachers; get rid of bad teachers.
- Focus on career and technical training to prepare the workforce.
Government reforms to prevent impediments (higher taxes) to job creation:
- Promote sound budgeting – adhere to the Chamber's spending principles.
- Work to reform Kentucky's unsustainable public pension systems.
- Monitor Medicaid reforms to ensure effectiveness and lower costs
Promote a healthier workforce to improve productivity and lower costs:
- Shape the health reform law to prevent unnecessary burdens on employers.
- Address prescription drug abuse problem in Kentucky.
- Enact a statewide smoke-free law to help improve health and productivity.
Help Kentucky compete globally for jobs:
- Ensure a competitive tax climate – reform taxes that hinder job growth
- Enact expanded gaming legislation to allow our equine industry to compete.
- Develop employer-friendly unemployment interest payment mechanism.
Support energy policies that provide low-cost energy to run the economy:
- Support Kentucky's coal industry as a key source of reliable energy.
- Support the structure of the Public Service Commission that has helped ensure low-cost utility rates for many years.
Ultimately, growth cannot be sustained without the proper policies to support it. To read the Chamber's full agenda for getting Kentucky back to work, download the 2012 Legislative Agenda at kychamber.com/agenda.