Local Legislative Agenda

2019 Blount County Chamber of Commerce
Legislative Agenda

Economic Development

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

Education & Workforce Development

To ensure a high-quality, capable workforce in the future, we:

  • 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

Health Care

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

Tourism

  • 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

Watch: Increase BEP Funding Formula, Oppose School Vouchers, Medicaid Expansion, Online Sales Tax Preemptive Legislation, Unfunded Mandates, Deannexation, Correct Local Sales Cap on the Second $1,600, Oppose Reduction of City Share of State Shared Revenue

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