Local Legislative Agenda
2020 Blount County Chamber of Commerce
To attract, retain and expand business in our region, we:
- Support local governments' continued 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
- Become a Top Destination for Data Centers. Data center projects are increasingly sought after as economic development projects because of their high-wage positions and large capital expenditures.
- Oppose any legislation mandating a minimum wage
- Oppose any legislation prohibiting/restricting Industrial Development Board authority to negotiate and implement payment in lieu of tax agreements
- Encourage State officials to support rural development programs that do not directly or indirectly negatively impact the more developed and urban areas of the State.
Education & Workforce Development
To ensure a high-quality, capable workforce in the future, we:
- Expand recognized industry certifications.
- Clarify child labor laws as it relates to young apprenticeships.
- Remove the burden of utilizing TN Promise funds for dual credit and dual enrollment while in high school.
- Exempt potential CTE teachers from the TN teacher certification standards.
- Support criminal justice reform initiatives that positively impact workforce by enhancing employee skills, reducing recidivism and strengthening responses to individuals with behavioral and health needs.
- Support continued implementation in elementary, middle and high schools of the TN Ready standards, assessments and their use in evaluating educators' effectiveness
- Support and accountability model for Tennessee school systems that includes a measure of quality career and technical education, including industry-recognized certifications, work-based leaning, dual enrollment and post-secondary opportunities to help reach the state's goal of 55 percent of Tennesseans by 2025 holding postsecondary credentials
- Support continuation of Tennessee Promise, Tennessee Reconnect and other initiatives that encourage attendance and completion of post-secondary training
- Support legislation that takes the burden of work-based learning off the employers
- Support high school curriculum in regard to technical path that give students skills to enter the workforce
- Support Pellissippi State Community College's application for funds to construct a Workforce Development Center
- Support Right-to-Work Laws -- Employment at Will
- Maintain business-friendly conditions for Tennessee employers by continuing to improve the state's Workers' Compensation system
- Oppose bills resembling the previously defeated Employee Free Choice Act/Card Check
- Oppose any state action that would result in mandating the election of school system superintendents
To encourage a healthy workforce while not creating financial burden on employers, we:
- Support health policies, particularly those addressing mental health, substance abuse and addiction which improve the welfare of the state's workforce
- Oppose mandatory health care requirements for employers and individuals
- Support legislation for insurance expansion to cover proton therapy cancer treatments
- Support refining real-time reporting to law enforcement for opiate prescriptions by physicians and pharmacies
Infrastructure & Transportation
To provide the infrastructure needed for business to succeed, we:
- Support efforts to recruit low-cost air carriers to McGhee Tyson Airport
- Support completion of Pellissippi Parkway to Hwy. 321
- Support completion of Alcoa Highway
- Support funding for the completion of the Knox/Blount County Greenway to Townsend
- Oppose bills that take the annexation ability away from municipalities
- Support legislation that protects local governments from preemption of their zoning laws by AirBnB's and ensure that any AirBnB does not possess any unfair advantages by not being assessed as a commercial endeavor and not paying all the applicable taxes an existing short-term enterprise would have to pay
Watching: Medical marijuana, Increase BEP Funding Formula, Oppose School Vouchers, Medicaid Expansion, Online Sales Tax Preemptive Legislation, Unfunded Mandates, De-annexation, Correct Local Sales Cap on the Second $1,600, Oppose Reduction of City Share of State Shared Revenue