UPDATED: The 2017 General Assembly brought about many historic changes for Kentucky and unprecedented wins for the business community. The Kentucky Chamber announced Monday the recognition of 12 legislators who displayed conspicuous actions which helped ensured this success. In addition to sponsoring or carrying one of the Kentucky Chamber priorities, all were supportive of the Chamber’s top four legislative priority bills—right-to-work, repeal of the prevailing wage, medical review panels, and charter schools.
“With so many important business issues in play during this transformational legislative session, we feel it is important to highlight the efforts of those legislators who went out of their way to help ensure a positive business climate,” said Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Dave Adkisson. “These 12 legislators fought for a better business climate which will help move Kentucky forward.”
Below are the legislators selected for this year’s MVP awards and highlights of how they went to bat for the business community this session.
• House Speaker Jeff Hoover sponsored key priority legislation including House Bill 1, right-to-work and House Bill 3, repeal of the prevailing wage.
• Senate President Robert Stivers sponsored Senate Bill 6, paycheck protection legislation to give workers the choice to have union dues removed from their checks.
• House Majority Leader Jonathan Shell co-sponsored House Bill 1, right-to-work and House Bill 3, prevailing wage repeal legislation and served as the primary sponsor of House Bill 454, essential skills legislation.
• Senate Leader Damon Thayer carried House Bill 1, right to work and was a strong supporter of key business issues during the session.
• Rep. Jim DeCesare co-sponsored House Bill 1, right-to-work and House Bill 3, prevailing wage repeal bills as well as serving as a primary sponsor of House Bill 189 to bring transparency to the state’s area development districts.
• Rep. Bam Carney sponsored House Bill 520, charter school legislation and worked closely with the Chamber during the process to ensure passage of the bill.
• Rep. Adam Koenig sponsored and championed Chamber-backed legislation, House Bill 296 to update the state’s workers’ compensation system.
• Sen. Whitney Westerfield sponsored Senate Bill 120, re-entry reform legislation seeking to cut down on recidivism and allow people an easier transition back into the community after serving a prison term.
• Sen. Ralph Alvarado served as the sponsored and a strong advocate for Senate Bill 4, medical review panel legislation as well as sponsoring Senate Bill 18, peer review and Senate Bill 78, tobacco-free school bills.
• Rep. Robert Benvenuti carried Senate Bill 4, medical review panel legislation on the House floor and was a strong advocate for the issue.
• Sen. Danny Carroll sponsored Senate Bill, lifting the moratorium on nuclear energy and worked closely with the Chamber to ensure its passage.
• Rep. Steven Rudy carried Senate Bill 11, lifting the moratorium on nuclear in the House and worked closely with the Chamber to ensure its passage.
In addition to monitoring the progress of bills that directly relate to the strength of the Commonwealth’s business community, the Chamber tracks how each legislator votes on these bills. The Chamber’s MVP award recipients displayed more than just a business-friendly voting record, but went out of their way to support an issue critical to the business climate in Kentucky. To see how the MVP award recipients and other legislators voted on business issues during the 2017 Kentucky General Assembly view the Chamber’s Results for Business publication here.