Regional Legislative Agenda

Blount Chamber 2017 Local Legislative Agenda
Blount Chamber 2017 State Legislative Agenda
Blount Chamber 2017 Federal Legislative Agenda

For more than twenty-five years the chambers of commerce of Oak Ridge, Blount County and Knoxville have worked together to develop a regional legislative agenda to identify state issues of importance and increase job and business growth in the region.

The following items will be the primary focus of the joint efforts of the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, Blount County Chamber, and Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce during the 2017 session of the Tennessee General Assembly.

Economic Development:
To attract, retain and expand business in our region we:
  • Support local government’s ability to promote economic development and affordable housing through public/private partnerships (TIF, PILOT, and Housing Tax Credits) and encourage the State of Tennessee to promote and support these efforts.
  • Enhance infrastructure and training incentives and establish technology-driven incentives.
  • Oppose the current Hall Income Tax phase out plan that negatively impacts local communities and encourage the plan be revisited and revised to not burden local governments.
  • Support the E Fairness rule that would allow for a more even playing field by requiring all out of state online only retailers with more than $500,000 in annual TN sales to pay state sales tax.

Education & Workforce Development:
To ensure a high-quality, capable workforce in the future:
  • Support the implementation of rigorous K-12 standards and aligned assessments.
  • Support Drive to 55, Tennessee Promise and LEAP Grant programs.
  • Oppose any state action that would mandate merger of school systems.
  • Oppose and state action that would result in mandating the election of school system superintendents.
  • Oppose any voucher program that would result in public dollars being taken from local public education institutions and given to individuals to use for private school education.

Health Care:
To encourage a healthy workforce while not creating financial burden on employers:
  • Oppose mandatory health care requirements for employers and individuals.
  • Support Insure Tennessee to alleviate and prevent increased health care costs to businesses and provide access to medical care for working Tennesseans at or near the poverty level.

Infrastructure & Transportation:
To provide the infrastructure needed for business to succeed:
  • Support the development and implementation of a long term transportation funding plan to cover all maintenance needs and current, back logged and new projects and demands identified in the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization area without creating debt.
  • Oppose any bills that take the annexation ability away from municipalities. This includes legislation that would allow residents to initiate de-annexations that could lead to irregular boundaries that create confusion over provision of services.
  • Support efforts to recruit low cost air carriers to McGhee Tyson Airport.
  • Support the efforts to develop the Oak Ridge Airport as planned by the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority.