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.

2021 State Legislative Priorities

Business Environment
• Ensure broad state support and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine for front line, food preparation and public-facing service workers
• Reform Economic Incentive Tier program that more accurately reflect incentive needs in our entire region and detangle the tier system from other non-economic development related programs
• Fund a Site Development grant program for localities to prepare economic development sites to market
• Support funding and increase opportunities for affordable housing through the NC Housing Finance Agency
• Expand access to capital and training for small business owners

Healthcare
• Ensure expedited distribution of federal Covid relief funding to support public health, hospitals and providers
• Fund educational campaign promoting Covid-19 vaccine’s efficacy and usage
• Support increasing capacity and funding for behavioral health services
• Expand and fund opioid/substance misuse prevention and treatment programs
• Reduce barriers to affordable health insurance and increase access to healthcare for NC’s working families.

Education & Workforce Training
• Increase pay for K-12 teachers, 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 alternative, long-term funding solutions for sustainable transportation (including electric and natural gas vehicles) and energy frameworks that ensure full, future support of our state’s infrastructure
• Increase funding for access to broadband and fiber optic networks in our region, particularly in our rural schools, health care centers and small businesses, including the G.R.E.A.T. grant program
• Ensure funding measures remain in place for our regional transportation and infrastructure maintenance projects

Environmental Stewardship
• We support legislative action to further reduce carbon emissions, modernize the grid, and keep energy prices as affordable as possible.

 

Local Policy Priorities

Our local policy priorities reflect goals outlined in the AVL Greater community vision and the AVL 5×5 plan: avlgreater.org

  • Support greater housing inventory, density and affordability
  • Increase investment in early childhood education
  • Support local funding for workforce training programs that promote economic mobility and shared prosperity
  • Achieve clear and consistent guidelines with predictable outcomes for development
  • Improve intergovernmental dialog across the five-county MSA