2017 State Legislative Agenda Addresses Top Priorities
The Nashville Area Chamber's board of directors has adopted a 2017 state legislative agenda in preparation for the convening of a new session of the Tennessee General Assembly on Jan. 10. Our legislative priorities are informed by our annual policy survey, which asks Chamber members to identify their top business needs and areas of concern.
The 2017 state legislative agenda is framed around four key policy goals:
- An environment where business can prosper;
- Talent development for the region’s workforce;
- Quality of life that attracts and retains residents and workers; and
- Collaboration that leads to economic prosperity in Tennessee and the Nashville region.
During this legislative session, our two highest-priority issues focus on meeting our region’s growing transportation needs and ensuring Tennessee’s workforce has access to health care without harming our businesses. As Middle Tennessee’s roadways become more congested, we support comprehensive solutions around investing in the region’s transportation and transit infrastructure, especially legislation that enables local governments to implement dedicated funding sources for their transit and transportation needs. We also continue to advocate for a Tennessee solution to Medicaid expansion that helps create a healthier workforce and prevents increased health care costs to businesses.
New legislative items for the Chamber’s agenda in 2017 include criminal justice reform measures that make it easier for rehabilitated felons and juveniles to access employment; a state K-12 education accountability system that incorporates high-quality career and technical education programs; and support for Tennessee to create a level playing field among brick-and-mortar and online retail businesses, by requiring online retailers with more than $500,000 in annual sales to collect Tennessee sales tax. We will also continue working to protect Tennessee’s reputation as a welcoming state for all by opposing discriminatory legislation that negatively impacts jobs and our economy.
We encourage our members to contact elected officials about the issues that impact your business through our online tool, Middle Tennessee Business Voice. Throughout the legislative session, we will be keeping our members informed about items that have the potential to affect our region’s business environment.
Download the full agenda here. To learn more about the Chamber's legislative priorities, visit our website, or contact VP of State Policy Lee Harrell.