Building a more prosperous future for Kentucky’s communities and the state as a whole is the focus of a recent report from the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Dave Adkisson has been touring local chambers around the state, outlining the report and offering a preview of the state chamber’s 2016 legislative prioritiessince early November.
Four Pillars for Prosperity suggests a new emphasis on issues that influence the state’s economy and on the actions that will chart a path toward success. The report details the state’s current and recent economic performance; the workforce, technological and economic trends affecting Kentucky; and the perspective of business leaders on issues that most affect their ability to succeed.
The Chamber’s vision rests on four pillars:
- A healthy, skilled workforce to create a globally competitive talent development system
- A sustainable state government that is financially stable and creates a competitive environment for economic growth
- A 21st century infrastructure to capitalize on the state’s strategic advantages and to advance its energy agenda
- Aggressive job creation through the implementation of an economic development program that recognizes the potential of Kentucky’s distinct regions and industry sectors and encourages entrepreneurship and innovation
Among the specific progress points Kentucky must achieve to realize the vision: investing in quality early education programs, conducting a comprehensive management review of state government operations, supporting public-private partnerships to develop capital projects, and supporting strategic industry sectors.
To gauge the state’s performance, the Chamber plans to monitor key indicators, make them available via an online dashboard, and report regularly on the findings.
“Our hope is that someday soon leaders in Kentucky will value economic competitiveness that same way they value competitiveness in basketball,” said Adkisson. “We want our leaders to plan for future years of sustainability with the same enthusiasm as when we anticipate a young colt, an aged bourbon or spring. We want to change the culture and the opportunities for every citizen in our state.”
The Chamber’s Four Pillars for Prosperity is also incorporated into its 2016 Legislative Agenda. Priorities for the session include:
- Creating a healthy, skilled workforce through:
- Staying the course with Kentucky’s higher academic standards
- Allowing charter schools
- Investing in early childhood education
- Using performance-based funding
- Making public places smoke free
- Increasing Kentucky’s workforce through felony expungement
- Ensuring a sustainable state government through:
- Passing a responsible budget
- Reforming the public pension system
- Modernizing our justice code
- Controlling Medicaid costs
- Repealing prevailing wage
- Creating a 21st Century Infrastructure through:
- Passing public-private partnership legislation
- Making transportation investments
- Expanding wireless/broadband
- Bring about aggressive job creation through:
- Enacting comprehensive tax reform
- Allowing local option investments
- Passing right to work
- Pass liability reform
- Keep Kentucky’s low-cost energy
Keep up with legislative news leading up to the 2016 session of the Kentucky General Assembly at the Chamber’s News Site, kychamberbottomline.com.