December 10, 2020 12:22pm
Greater Louisville Inc. unveils 2021 state legislative agenda
Louisville, Ky. (December 10, 2020) – Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) unveiled its 2021 state legislative agenda today at a virtual Capitol Connection event that also featured remarks from Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives, David Osborne. The agenda underscores GLI’s commitment to helping businesses rebuild from the devastating impacts of COVID-19 and continuing to create a strong and inclusive regional economy.
“Greater Louisville businesses continue to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic restrictions,” said Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, President and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc. “Our businesses have sacrificed a great deal to keep our community safe, now our lawmakers must prioritize policies and allocate resources that allow them to swiftly and successfully recover.”
GLI’s priorities related to economic recovery include establishing legal liability protections for employers from COVID-related lawsuits, protecting businesses from tax increases, stabilizing the child care sector, allowing for reciprocity between Kentucky and Indiana economic development incentives, and maintaining regulatory flexibility for businesses like bars and restaurants.
In addition to economic recovery, GLI will continue pursuing long-term priorities including authorizing sports wagering, increasing state investment in infrastructure, and allowing for local government tax reform.
“The year ahead will be challenging, but it also presents us with an exciting opportunity to rebuild an economy suited for the future,” said Tim Hagerty, Chair of GLI’s Public Policy Council. “Hundreds of GLI members, community partners, and stakeholders came together to craft the new legislative agenda. GLI understands the weight of the upcoming legislative session and that economic recovery must be a top priority. However, we must remain forward-thinking and seek bold reforms now that will lead to economic prosperity for our region in the decades to come.”
To reflect GLI’s ongoing commitment to advancing racial equity in the region, the state legislative agenda includes key priorities to eliminate disparities that disproportionately impact people of color. This includes advocating for increased funding for public transportation, child care, workforce training, and education as well as criminal justice reforms.
GLI’s criminal justice reform priorities include expansion of Kentucky’s expungement laws by reducing wait periods and lowering costs, removal of barriers to education for formerly incarcerated Kentuckians by eliminating the statutory prohibition on ex-felons receiving KEES scholarships, reforms to the bail system and raising the felony theft threshold to help reduce incarceration rates, and exploration of legislative solutions to allow individuals with felonies to regain the right to vote.
GLI is also strongly supportive of identifying meaningful legislative solutions to rebuild trust between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Local leaders in Louisville have made important progress on this front, and we urge state lawmakers to fully support these efforts.
The state legislative agenda is the result of a months-long, member-driven process, with hundreds of regional business leaders volunteering their time and expertise and collaborating with community partners, stakeholders, and policymakers. The final product is a document that truly represents the priorities of the Greater Louisville business community. To view the full agenda, click here.