2016 Chamber Legislative Agenda
Create a Better Business Environment that Promotes Investment, Innovation and Job Creation
State Budget – The Wichita Metro Chamber believes the State should practice fiscal discipline.
- Reduce or maintain state spending at FY16 (July 2015-June 2016) level
- Seek out efficiencies and implement priority- or performance-based budgeting throughout all levels of state government
- Develop Commission of Legislators and Business to determine process for closure, realignment or privatization of government functions and agencies
- Move the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System from a defined benefit system to a defined contribution system
- Support expansion of Medicaid (KanCare) that is revenue
- neutral and encourages
- personal responsibility
- Funding decisions should be at the sole discretion of the legislature and not the court system
- Establish Rainy Day Fund by placing State General Fund ending balance into fund
- Support outsourcing state government functions to the private sector while maintaining needed services
Taxation – The Wichita Metro Chamber believes in a fair and equitable system of taxation that promotes private sector growth and makes Kansas more competitive.
- Support continued business tax reform, including reduction of the Kansas corporate income and Kansas privilege tax
- Continued support of long-term state tax structure reform including further reduction/elimination of personal income tax including future tax cuts in existing statute
- Oppose increases in business
- taxes and fees that would negatively impact Kansas’ competitive environment
- Oppose repeal of any existing sales tax exemptions on business inputs and services
Economic Development – The Wichita Metro Chamber believes the state should invest in economic development and develop programs that result in jobs and investment.
- Support continued funding for the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR)
- Create competitive economic development incentives and make Kansas a leader in innovative research, manufacturing, and technology
- Retain and enhance tax incentives to include more flexible investment and job development tax credits with options for cash incentives
Investment-friendly Business Environment – The Wichita Metro Chamber believes a low-cost business environment is critical in order to be a competitive and attractive business destination.
- Support legislation to allow admission of evidence that shows plaintiff’s losses have been compensated from other sources such as insurance or workers compensation, known as “collateral source”
- Support legislation allowing parties to collect attorney fees as a prevailing party
- Encourage federal resolution to immigration reform and oppose state legislation increasing penalties or threatening the business licenses of employers
- Maintain fair labor practices by opposing unfair advantages for union organizations
Regulatory Environment – The Wichita Metro Chamber believes there must be certainty in the regulatory environment in order for business to grow and relocate in Kansas.
- Support legislation that creates a state OSHA plan
- Prohibit state and federal agencies from misusing rule and regulation authority in place/lieu of policy decisions made by the legislature
- Support efforts by the Governor, Attorney General, and legislature to oppose or block any attempt by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to impose regulations that overreach and inflict undue expense on Kansas ratepayers and regulatory burdens on the state by favoring one fuel source over another source
Transportation – The Wichita Metro Chamber believes a strong transportation infrastructure is critical in developing and expanding commerce.
- Ensure dedicated transportation funding streams only be used for the transportation program
- Support the current comprehensive state transportation program
Environmental Resources – The Wichita Metro Chamber believes environmental management must take a balanced and reasonable approach that protects the environment without placing unnecessary burdens on business.
Education and Workforce Development – The Wichita Metro Chamber believes a strong education system is vital in workforce and talent development.
- Support continued funding for the National Center for Aviation Training as part of on going workforce development critical to the aviation manufacturing cluster
- Support a funding formula for urban districts with high-density poverty that supports the needs of ESL, foster, poverty and special education/needs students
- Oppose funding cuts to K-12 public education
- Encourage education reform initiatives including, but not limited to, school choice options
- Encourage the legislature to allow local school districts to have more flexibility in how state dollars are spent within their school district
- Support growing the Kansas economy through applied research and private-public partnerships, like university/business innovation programs, at all higher education institutions
- Support career and technical education programs, including the Governor’s Career and Technical Education Initiative, to ensure an abundant and skilled workforce
- Encourage full funding and oppose any budget provisos that interfere with the Postsecondary Tiered Technical State Aid Cost Model
- Support an increased focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning initiatives