Federal Legislative Agenda
2018 Blount County Chamber of Commerce Federal Legislative Agenda
Infrastructure and Transportation
Support completion of Pellissippi Parkway to Highway 321 - TDOT proposes to extend and construct Pellissippi Parkway from SR 33 to SR 73 (US 321). The completion of Pellissippi Parkway is approximately 4.4 miles. The project was included in TEA-21 as a high priority project. Support completion of Alcoa Highway - The Alcoa Highway project consists of four different projects. The Blount Chamber supports the completion of the entire project which serves as the most direct route from Knoxville to McGhee Tyson Airport in Blount County.
Federal Highway Funding - The Blount Partnership, along with the US Chamber of Commerce, supports a growing, sustainable source of funding for our Highways and Roads. We recognize that there are many possible solutions to the problem of highway funding, and commend Senator Bob Corker for being out front on this issue. We are in support of congress working together to find the best plan to strengthen the funding mechanism for our highways.
Support the Knoxville Metropolitan Airport and ETAC in their quest to secure a low-fare carrier to McGhee Tyson airport to further encourage competition and lower fares.
Oppose any bills that resemble the recently defeated Employee Free Choice Act/Card Check – This legislation would strip employees of a private ballot in union organizing drives, interfere with a worker’s ability to deal directly with their employer and force unfair mandates on businesses.
Oppose Fair Share Bills – Fair Share bills would mandate employers to spend a set amount on health care benefits. Instead of encouraging employers to manage health care costs, these bills actually encourage maintaining above average health care costs. Additionally, the bills do not address provider access to affordable health care insurance.
Environment & Energy
Oppose EPA ruling – Oppose EPA’s efforts to lower the Quality Standards (NAAQSs) for ozone and particulate matter. Blount County is currently designated as attainment for EPA ozone and PM 2.5 standards. Many changes have already been made to reduce emissions. The Chamber does not feel it is in the best interest of our nation for the federal government to lower current standards any further because of great strides that have been made with this issue. Doing so could provide a major blow to our national economy and further encourage businesses to depart for other nations with less burdensome regulations.
Support programs that provide federal tax credits for energy efficiency.
Unsustainable spending habits and fiscal insolvency pose the greatest threat to our economic stability, freedom, way of life and future as a nation. We encourage Congress to make tough choices and cap spending at a sustainable level to help incentivize economic growth. Entitlement Reform. We urge the 115th Congress and administration to quit kicking the can on reforms to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and to take action to curb entitlement spending before it consumes our entire federal budget. Last year alone, mandatory government spending (which pays for entitlements and interest) represented 78 percent of all federal revenue. If left unchecked, this number will grow to 96 percent by 2026 -- leaving only 4 percent for everything else.
Education & Workforce Development
Support national implementation similar to the Tennessee Promise, allowing every child two years of post-secondary education at no cost.
Oppose any legislation that would mandate a minimum wage.