WKRCA PUBLIC POLICY POSITIONS
During each state and federal legislative session, the WKRCA Board of Directors reviews proposed legislation for a position recommendation, either in support or opposition. Speakers are invited to present to the Board on specific legislation or on issues that are important to our member counties. Background information on a specific bill or issue is provided to the Board. A position recommendation is then approved and communicated to our area legislators or our Congressional delegation as appropriate.
Below are positions that the Board approved for 2023:
Tax Reform: Supports a statewide constitutional amendment vote as the first step toward equalizing and modernizing local government taxing revenue options. Local governments need tools to diversify local revenue, improve communities, and continue growth and development. Currently, Section 181 of the Kentucky Constitution limits the types of taxes local governments can levy and not all cities and counties have the same taxing authority. The current discrepancy across the state creates winners and losers within Kentucky and when Kentucky competes with other states.
Infrastructure Funding: Supports legislation that provides new and sustainable funding to support the maintenance and improvements needed on our transportation network (Roads, Airports, Riverports, Railroads, Transit Systems, Local Economic Development Sites and Broadband), and allows the building of an infrastructure system that supports the Commonwealth in the 21st Century.
Workforce: Supports a broad-based approach to fill our current jobs, prepare for the future, ensure our workers are trained for the positions in our region, and to help grow our population. Strategies should include:
o Setting a goal for growing our workforce that should also help to grow our region and state’s population.
o Increasing the number of Kentuckians with college degrees and post-secondary certificates.
o Expanding apprenticeships and adult education programs.
o Investing in key workforce training programs and utilizing partners such as local colleges and universities in the training of our workforce.
o Raising awareness and use of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit to address the benefits cliffs and leverage pro-work incentives.
o Improving access to child care.
Tax Exemption on 100% of Military Retirement Pay: Supports a tax exemption for 100% of military retirement pay as a way to build our workforce by enticing retiring service members and their families to live and work in Kentucky. Thirty-three states now fully exempt military retirement pay. When military retirees transition back into civilian workforce, they bring with them leadership and problem-solving skills that will help Kentucky businesses succeed.
Completion of I-69: Supports funding as needed to complete I-69.
Fort Campbell and Defense Industries: Supports retention and expansion of military missions, capabilities and infrastructure as well as opportunities for defense-related economic development.