A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce releases legislative agenda detailing priorities for 2020 General Assembly

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday released its 2020 Legislative Agenda detailing the legislative priorities of the business community for the upcoming session of the Kentucky General Assembly. (Click to view full report) The Chamber’s legislative agenda is developed by several policy councils comprised of member businesses with final approval given by the organization’s Board of Directors....

Ky. Chamber of Commerce unveils new workers’ comp program to reduce rates for businesses

In an effort to help businesses manage costs of employee benefits, the Kentucky Chamber has announced a partnership with ClearPath Mutual to offer its member’s workers’ compensation insurance at a reduced rate. “Our organization is dedicated to creating opportunities for Kentucky businesses. We have partnered with ClearPath Mutual on this workers’ compensation program to help our members’...

American Water vice president Nick Rowe named 2020 chair of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Nick Rowe, American Water Southeast Division senior vice president and Kentucky American Water president, has been elected to serve as chairman of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce for the 2020 term. Rowe succeeds Paul Thompson, chairman, president and CEO of LG&E and KU Energy, whose term expired September 30. Since joining American Water in 1987, Rowe has held numerous management positions within...

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce initiative to help small businesses manage health care costs

With health care costs hitting small employers particularly hard, many Kentucky organizations have found themselves struggling to offer health benefits to their employees. The latest health plan offered through the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce aims to solve that problem through a new type of health plan that allows multiple smaller employers to join together to achieve savings. The health plan, called...

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce selects Ashli Watts of Frankfort as President and CEO

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has named Ashli Watts of Frankfort as President and CEO of the state’s largest business association after an eight-month national search. She will take office on Nov. 1, succeeding Dave Adkisson, 66, who is retiring after serving 15 years in the position. Watts, 37, currently is Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the Chamber, where she has led the organization’s...

Commentary: Skilled-workers law would be a boon for Kentucky businesses, say Chamber executives

By Dave Adkisson, Brent Cooper, Kent Oyler and Bob Quick Special to KyForward Earlier this year in a speech discussing immigration, former President George W. Bush declared Americans need to “dial down the rhetoric, put politics aside and modernize our immigration laws.” The Kentucky business community agrees. Kentucky businesses know we need to get past the rhetoric and divisiveness of the issue...

First participants graduate Harvesting Hope pilot program to help women in recovery learn job skills

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service A pilot program in Berea where women in recovery learn job skills through farming saw its first batch of graduates this month. Harvesting Hope is a partnership between Sustainable Berea and Liberty Place, a recovery center for women in Richmond, along with several local businesses. Program director Cheyenne Olson said many people might be surprised by how much...

Deep study finds only 36% affected by Ky’s proposed Medicaid work rule aren’t meeting them already

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Gov. Matt Bevin says “hundreds of thousands” of able-bodied adult Kentuckians on Medicaid should be working but choose not to. But when his new Medicaid “community engagement” rules were set to kick in last July, only about 48,000 people on the program were short of meeting the requirements, according to a study of Medicaid records and...

Beth Davisson: Employers have important role in combating Kentucky’s opioid epidemic

Kentucky employers have a growing front-line awareness of the devastating impact the opioid epidemic is having on our state. They know that this epidemic is more than a public health issue. It is also a serious workforce issue that must be addressed – with employers playing a key role – if they are going to meet their challenges of finding and retaining workers. As Jonathan Copley, CEO of Aetna...

Ky. Chamber urges employers to update policies, lobby for reduced penalties during opioid summit

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is calling on the state’s business community to update its drug and alcohol policies to bring more help to their employees who suffer from addiction, and keep working to get state legislators to downgrade criminal penalties for simple drug possession. At an “opioid summit” in Lexington June 24, the business lobby also announced that its Kentucky Chamber...

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Dave Adkisson announces plans to retire in October

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dave Adkisson will retire effective October 2019 after a long tenure at the state’s business advocacy organization, the Chamber announced Thursday. A nationwide search for Adkisson’s replacement will begin immediately. Under Adkisson’s leadership, the Kentucky Chamber has doubled in size, increased its staff to 40 professionals including a team of...

Commentary: Business and education leaders set four urgent goals for the coming decade

By Dave Adkisson and Aaron Thompson Kentucky must aggressively up its game if we’re going to compete for talent and quality jobs in today’s international economy. Top-flight education and the workforce it produces are key factors in the success of the state and its citizens, but we are struggling to educate and train enough people to be productive and responsible citizens and employees. The struggle...

Commentary: Consensus emerging behind reforming Kentucky’s troubled criminal justice system

By Dave Adkisson and Jason Bailey Special to KyForward Kentucky’s skyrocketing incarceration trendlines are bringing worry lines to legislators’ faces in Frankfort.  There is, however, a growing consensus and hope among various stakeholder groups, including jailers, the chief justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court, civil rights advocates, prosecutors, think tanks, the business community and other...

Georgetown College announces Adkisson, Mills to head 2019 Board of Trustees leadership team

The 2019 leadership team for the Georgetown College Board of Trustees has been announced. Dave Adkinson Dave Adkisson, Class of 1973, becomes Chairman, and Bob Mills, Class of 1967, Vice-Chairman on January 1, 2019. Each will serve a one-year term. Adkisson, a trustee since 2014, is currently President and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the Commonwealth’s largest business association. As...

David Adkisson: Ky’s pro-growth policies create more jobs, high incomes, business confidence

Two recent studies conducted by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce show that business confidence is growing among Kentucky business leaders and that Kentucky is growing faster in jobs, incomes, and population than most of its bordering states. The Chamber believes that recent pro-growth policy changes in Kentucky (for example, Kentucky moving this year from ranking 33rd to 23rd among states in our tax...

Letter to the Editor: Workers’ Comp Reforms are good for private and public employers

Private and public-sector employers do not always agree, but when we do come together progress is almost always made for our state. This was the case during this past session of the General Assembly when legislators from both sides of the aisle along with a broad coalition of employers from the public and private sectors worked to pass reforms to Kentucky’s workers’ compensation system for the...

With final spending numbers in, lobbying hits all-time high for 2018 General Assembly session

The final lobbying spending numbers for the 2018 General Assembly are in, and spending hit an all-time high of $10.67 million, putting Kentucky on track for a record-breaking year in which more than $22 million will be spent on lobbying. The lobbying spending reports filed by a wide array of businesses and organizations give another clear picture of the increasing importance of public policy to the...

Michael J. Schmitt: PSC Chairman explains process for consideration of rate increase requests

Many Kentuckians may be unaware of the role of the Public Service Commission (PSC) in their daily lives Paraphrasing our mission statement, the PSC fosters the safe, reliable service of utilities to customers at a price that is both reasonable and also allows for the financial stability of the regulated utilities.This includes rates and service for a myriad of utilities, including electricity, natural...

Lobbying spending reaches record high $2.6 million in first half of Kentucky legislative session

Immediately following a year of record lobbying spending, Kentucky businesses and organizations spent an all-time high of $2.6 million on lobbying in the first portion of the 2018 General Assembly session. After spending $20.8 million in 2017, 684 employers and 596 lobbyists started 2018 by spending 20 percent more than they spent in the same period at the beginning of last year’s session. The top...

Bill could let legislature limit lawsuit awards; second bill could limit attorney fees in malpractice suits

The Kentucky General Assembly would be able to pass a law limiting the amount of non-economic damages that could be awarded in personal-injury and wrongful-death lawsuits, under a bill moving to a floor vote in the state Senate. The House may block the legislation, but a companion bill approved by another Senate committee Feb. 7 would limit the amount of attorney fees in medical-malpractice lawsuits...