Just a few short weeks ago, the legislature adjourned sin die until next year and the Governor signed into law the final pieces of legislation passed in the 2016 General Assembly. By all accounts, this was a great year for business.
In the ensuing weeks, GLI staff and partner organizations across the region have taken to analyzing the legislation that has passed and distilling it into a short report that we call Legislative Outcomes: Obstacles & Opportunities for Business in 2016. In this document, we leverage the policies and the data to analyze what passed, what didn’t, and how it will affect businesses in the Greater Louisville region.
We hope that you will take a few minutes to look through and appreciate all that was accomplished by our advocacy team. It is humbling to look back and see the importance of a strong voice for business in Frankfort.
We’re in Business!
The 2016 General Assembly saw much progress for the business community in the Greater Louisville region. Several of our top priorities made it to the Governor’s desk for signature.
We were particularly happy to see Public Private Partnerships (P3s) finally gain approval in Frankfort, along with Expungement Reform, Distillery Modernization, Principal Selection, and changes to Pharmacy law, which will create 150 new jobs in Louisville in the coming years. Beyond these big wins, however, there were some sobering missed opportunities for the business community in 2016, including inaction on LIFT, comprehensive tax reform, and Right to Work.
We were also pleased to see a significant step forward in the funding of the Kentucky Retirement System. The 2017-2018 biennial budget commits a billion dollars to shoring up the system, which will ensure Kentucky’s credit and bond rating remain stable.
GLI has also changed our own status quo. In 2016, we established a presence in Indianapolis. GLI fielded a registered lobbyist dedicated to regional issues. Leaders from GLI’s Bi-State Issues Committee traveled to Indianapolis to advocate for tax reform, education, and economic development issues. GLI staff testified alongside representatives from 1si in support of an Interstate Groundwater Authority. Venturing from Corydon to Clarksville, GLI staff began developing the relationships with elected officials to better serve the 20% of GLI members with headquarters or operations in Southern Indiana.
GLI was proud to lead publically on all these matters and many more. Pushing for initiatives that make our region more business friendly is a central part of GLI’s mission. Once again this year, our members showed up and spoke out. They advocated for our legislative priorities along with our staff. We continue to compound our lobbying efforts with a robust grassroots advocacy campaign and served as a civic connector, bringing dozens of business leaders to Frankfort to engage in the debate.
While we celebrate our successes in 2016, we never stop looking forward. Our next stop is in Washington, where we will continue to be the voice of the Greater Louisville business community on the national stage. Progress is made when we move forward together. I encourage all members to get involved and be at the table in advocating for the economic growth of our home.