Commerce Lexington releases 2018 public policy statements, as state lawmakers to return to Frankfort

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Commerce Lexington Inc. has released its 2018 public policy statements, which will guide the organization’s advocacy efforts throughout the year at the federal, state and local levels of government. The statements are developed by Commerce Lexington’s Public Policy Council, which is comprised of more than forty volunteer members, representing a broad spectrum of the organization’s 1,700-plus member companies that include local government, large and small businesses, education groups, utilities and nonprofits.

In January, state lawmakers return to Frankfort for a 60-day legislative session.

The “long session” occurs in even-numbered years. The primary focus will be on reforms to the state’s financially-troubled public pension systems, and the crafting of the next $20 billion two-year state budget and road plan. Tax reform is also expected to be discussed. Without pension or tax reform, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and General Assembly members may have to make significant cuts to state government to balance the state’s budget as required.

Other priority issues at the state level include workers’ compensation system reforms, medical liability reforms to improve the healthcare economy, and essential skills legislation aimed at focusing schools on soft skills development.

At the local level, Commerce Lexington Inc. will continue to monitor regulatory, environmental and other economic development issues.

The chamber continues to be focused on local and state policy efforts to improve the education and workforce development systems. This includes the Business and Education Network (BEN) and its work to identify current and future workforce needs and develop a plan to meet those needs through collaborative community partnerships, such as the Fayette County Public Schools Career Academies.

David Freibert (LG&E & KU Energy), Chairman of the Commerce Lexington Inc. Policy Council, said, “Commerce Lexington is committed to serving Central Kentucky’s business community by advocating for legislation that enhances economic development across the state, while maintaining the relationships with our federal, state and local elected officials and their staffs. We will continue to work to protect the viability of Kentucky’s business potential and its signature industries.”

Commerce Lexington’s 2018 Public Policy Statements are posted on-line.

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