The Chamber > Advocacy > Legislative Agendas > Chamber Agenda
2017 Chamber Legislative Agenda
Each year, all Kansas legislators receive a palm card familiarizing them with the Wichita Regional Chamber’s Legislative Agenda. The agenda is developed by the Chamber’s Government Relations Committee each fall after input from Chamber members. It is then approved by the Chamber’s Board of Directors.
The Chamber’s primary government relations goal is to create a better business environment for your company or organization by promoting investment, innovation and job creation. Our 2017 Legislative Agenda is available for your review below.
For more information about the process of developing the Legislative Agenda, contact Barby Jobe, Vice President of Government Relations.
The Wichita Regional Chamber believes the state should practice fiscal discipline.
Reduce or maintain state spending at FY17 (July 2016-June 2017) level
Encourage the legislature to act on the Consensus Revenue Estimating Working Group’s report and recommendations
Seek out efficiencies and implement priority- or performance-based budgeting throughout all levels of state government
Encourage legislature to follow state law and fund 7.5% ending balance
Establish Rainy Day Fund by placing State General Fund ending balance into fund
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
Funding decisions should be at the sole discretion of the legislature and not the court system
Support outsourcing state government functions to the private sector while maintaining needed services
The Wichita Regional 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
The Wichita Regional 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
Support and continued advancement of entrepreneurial programs
Investment-friendly Business Environment
The Wichita Regional 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
The Wichita Regional 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
Protect workers compensation and unemployment insurance reforms
The Wichita Regional 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
The Wichita Regional 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 Regional Chamber believes a strong and integrated education system, from pre-school through higher education, is vital in workforce and talent development.
Support continued funding for the National Center for Aviation Training as part of ongoing 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 public education
Encourage education reform initiatives
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 a skilled workforce and meet the needs of advanced manufacturing and other industry sectors critical to the South Central Kansas Economy
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
Support legislation enabling the proposed merger of Wichita State University and Wichita Area Technical College
Support the continuation of the University Engineering Initiative Act to increase the number of engineering graduates in Kansas
Support a student-focused system that provides support and resources for individual success, including supporting higher standards in academic skills, employability and citizenship skills
Improving the Business Environment
"The most valuable aspect of our membership is having someone working tirelessly to represent business interests to elected officials at the city, county, school board and state. The business community is much more productive when it bands together and works to improve our business environment.” -- Harvey Sorensen, Foulston Siefkin