Our Legislative Agenda is developed by the Advocacy and Policy Committee and communicates the Chamber’s positions on issues at the state, local and federal levels of government. Working together with various legislative organizations helps promote public policy decisions that reflect the priorities of the region’s economy. Below is our stance on our economy’s pressing issues, as of January 2019.

Business Environment

  •  Eliminate unnecessary regulatory reform to keep North Carolina and Buncombe County competitive nationwide in the attraction and retention of jobs
  • Reform the Economic Incentive Tier system and Fund a Site Development grant or loan system for localities to get economic development sites ready for market
  • Fund programs serving and supplying affordable and workforce housing

Healthcare

  • Support increasing capacity and funding for behavioral health services
  • Expand and fund opioid/substance abuse prevention and treatment programs
  • Support expanding resources that address the shortage of allied health care professionals in WNC to assure access to care for the expanding and aging population

Education/Workforce Training

  • Increase pay for North Carolina’s K-12 teachers with the goal of NC educator salaries meeting the national average in the next three years
  • Increase pay for university and community college faculty and staff to attract/retain talent and achieve market competitiveness
  • Expand affordable access to quality childcare and pre-K education for Western North Carolina’s workforce
  • Ensure our local community colleges and universities have sustained funding and programming to continue quality academic and workforce training to support WNC’s economic future

Transportation & Infrastructure

  • Develop long-term funding solutions for alternative transportation (including electric and natural gas vehicles) and energy frameworks that strengthen our state’s infrastructure and provides our economy with the support it needs to thrive as a global leader
  • Increase funding for access to broadband and fiber optic networks in our region, particularly in our rural schools, health care centers and small businesses
  • Expand transit options for the Asheville metro region

Environmental Stewardship

  • Support increased funding for innovative energy technology
  • Advance a comprehensive approach to WNC’s energy needs by allowing diversification and modernization of our sourcing
  • Increase funding and tax incentives for market-driven, climate solution businesses