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 2018.

Business Environment

  • Support developing and maintaining consistent and adequate state funding/revenue streams to allow better predictability and multi-year planning for both business and for state agencies and state-funded institutions, and for city/county government obligations and authority
  • Support economic and community development incentives and reduce unnecessary regulatory reform to keep North Carolina and Buncombe County competitive nationwide in the attraction and retention of jobs

Healthcare

  • Support increasing capacity and funding for behavioral health services
  • Support expanding resources that address the shortage of allied health providers in WNC to assure access to care for the expanding and aging population
  • Support improving and restructuring Medicaid to achieve risk based, provider-led, regional care delivery (e.g. Accountable Care Organizations) utilizing care management capabilities, and budget predictability for the state and for Medicaid providers

Education/Workforce Training

  • Support pay increases for North Carolina’s educators with the goal of NC educator salaries meeting the national average in the next five years
  • Support expanding 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 workforce training to support WNC’s economic future

Transportation & Infrastructure

  • Assure continued prioritization and funding of the I-26 Connector Project
  • Support developing long-term funding 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
  • Support increased funding for access to broadband and fiber optic networks in our 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, as well as our knowledge of how to best sustain reliable, safe energy usage
  • Provide increased support and incentives to market-driven, climate solution businesses