Lawmakers hear testimony from business community on importance of infrastructure investment and data privacy

In legislative meetings on Thursday, the issues of privacy and the need for increased investment in infrastructure were highlighted by leaders in the business community as subjects that should be tackled in the coming legislative session.

Transportation Funding

IMG_9958Ahead of the 2019 session where infrastructure funding is expected to be a big issue for the General Assembly, representatives from the business community from across the state explained to lawmakers that business and industry is in strong support of significant infrastructure investment.

Kentucky Chamber Vice President of Policy Development Kate Shanks told legislators $500 billion worth of goods are transported to, from, and through Kentucky each year noting that transportation investment is critical to the economy.

Shanks also spoke about the policies adopted by the General Assembly over the past two years and their influence on the economy. “We are seeing record economic growth in our economy. There is job and wage growth in nearly every region of our state,” Shanks said. “We must invest in infrastructure to meet the needs of our growing economy.”

Tim Gibbs, president and CEO of the Ashland Alliance, said economic development is one of the most important issues for Kentucky and said transportation funding is directly tied to that. Because of the state’s proximity to much of the country’s population and other competitive advantages, Gibbs said Kentucky’s roads and bridges play a crucial role in making the case for businesses looking to locate in the state.

Chuck Sexton of One East Kentucky testified that he believes the state is in the middle of an economic development renaissance and added good infrastructure is key to moving goods and people and the state needs to continue with investment.

Shanks finished the group’s comments by adding infrastructure funding will be the number one issue for the Kentucky Chamber in 2019. Learn more about the issue here.

Data Privacy

DSC_1696An issue of great importance to the business community is privacy and how policies are developing to ensure data and information are protected.

Shanks told legislators during a small business and information technology committee meeting that a federal approach to privacy policy is key. She added a patchwork of rules across the states would be confusing and burdensome for all businesses especially small ones.

Ben Taylor with the U.S. Chamber and Joe Danaher with Integrity IT also testified in front of the committee and echoed those comments. Taylor updated legislators on the work of the U.S. Chamber including the development of privacy principles the work of the 200+ business coalition led by the U.S. Chamber and model legislation in the works for the next session of Congress.

Danaher, who handles cybersecurity matters for clients of Integrity IT, provided examples of why state-by-state regulation would be onerous for a business with multi-state activities.

Learn more about the U.S. Chamber’s privacy principles here.

Categories: 2019 General Assembly, Kentucky Competitiveness

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