The 2022 General Assembly saw monumental progress on several critical priorities of the Kentucky business community. Following the legislative session, the Kentucky Chamber has announced the recognition of 11 legislators who displayed conspicuous actions to ensure Kentucky’s growth, strengthen businesses across the Commonwealth, and improve competitiveness throughout the state.
The pro-growth policies passed during the 2022 legislative session saved Kentucky businesses an estimated $1.281 billion, roughly $19,000 for each employer in the Commonwealth— marking the third year in a row of savings equal to more than a billion dollars for the business community— thanks to the General Assembly and the Chamber’s aggressive advocacy.
“Looking back over this session, it is clear the legislature had a focus on growing our economy, improving our tax code and implementing solutions to our workforce crisis,” said Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Ashli Watts. “Because of this, the 2022 General Assembly was easily one of the most successful for Kentucky businesses in recent history and will help make Kentucky more competitive. The Kentucky Chamber applauds the legislature and looks forward to working together to see the Commonwealth reach our true economic potential.”
Recipients of the 2022 Kentucky Chamber MVP Award showed strong leadership for the business community by sponsoring or carrying Kentucky Chamber priority legislation to final passage, showing leadership on passage of critical legislation to improve Kentucky, or by taking hard votes in defense of business.
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:
Senate President Robert Stivers played an important role in ensuring passage of House Bill 499, the Employee Child Care Assistance Partnership, including testifying on the bill in Senate committee. Additionally, he advocated for Chamber priority legislation including House Bill 8, legislation to make Kentucky’s tax code more competitive.
House Speaker David Osborne played an important role in supporting Chamber priority legislation including House Bill 499, the Employee Child Care Assistance Partnership, as well as House Bill 8, legislation to make Kentucky’s tax code more competitive.
Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer was instrumental in ensuring passage of top Chamber priorities including unemployment insurance reform, the Employee Child Care Assistance Partnership, tax reform, and more.
Sen. Ralph Alvarado championed Senate Bill 11, legislation to modernize Kentucky’s assisted living social model, and played an instrumental role on other issues pertaining to health care in Kentucky.
Sen. Wil Schroder carried House Bill 4, legislation to reform Kentucky’s unemployment insurance system, on the Senate floor and heard several priority bills as chair of the Senate Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor Committee. He also sponsored a resolution calling for an analysis of state-sponsored workforce programs, a recommendation of the Chamber, that was funded in the biennial budget.
Sen. Whitney Westerfield championed Senate Bill 90, legislation that will create a pilot program to help address the role addiction and mental health disorders have in criminal activity to get people into recovery programs and back into the workforce.
Rep. Jonathon Dixon championed House Bill 708, legislation that provides new resources to support working families and requires a study of benefits cliffs in Kentucky.
Rep. Samara Heavrin championed House Bill 499, legislation to create the Employee Child Care Assistance Partnership as a way to help address workforce issues across the Commonwealth. This top priority of the Kentucky Chamber had over 60 co-sponsors.
Rep. Adam Koenig carried House Bill 606, legislation to enact sports wagering in Kentucky, which passed the House for the first time this year.
Rep. Jason Petrie championed the Chamber’s top strategic priority of the 2022 session, legislation to reform Kentucky’s tax code by reducing the personal income tax and broadening the sales tax base to make the Commonwealth more competitive for growth.
Rep. Russell Webber championed two top priorities for the Chamber including House Bill 4, legislation to reform Kentucky’s unemployment insurance (UI) system, and House Bill 144, legislation to freeze the unemployment insurance tax rate and allocate money to replenish the state’s UI fund, which will save businesses $75 per employee in 2022.
Stay tuned as the Kentucky Chamber’s 2022 Results for Business publication will be released soon, detailing top priorities of the business community that passed, scoring votes of legislators on important issues, and showing missed opportunities.