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Advocacy in Action NKY Chamber Legislative Outcomes 2017 & 2018


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Through their hard work and the actions of the General Assembly, the Commonwealth is thriving.

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WORKFORCE IS THE TOP PRIORITY AT THE NORTHERN KENTUCKY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. Under the umbrella of workforce, we also focus on education, transportation and healthcare. We must have an educated workforce to serve the needs of our region’s employers. We must have a reliable and efficient transportation system for our workforce. And we must do all we can to encourage a healthier workforce to reduce employer healthcare costs. Advocacy plays a critical role in promoting and supporting a vibrant economy for our region and the 175,000 hardworking taxpayers we represent. Every day, we work diligently to improve the business climate of Northern Kentucky. The 2017 and 2018 Legislative Sessions, at the local, state and federal levels, were historic ones for the Northern Kentucky region and the entire NKY Chamber membership– small, medium and large businesses from across a wide spectrum of industries. This publication serves as a summary of the NKY Chamber legislative priorities which have successfully passed over the past two years. These priorities include many long-standing issues such as lowering the corporate and individual income tax rate, making Kentucky a Right-to-Work state, repealing Kentucky’s prevailing wage laws, passage of performance-based funding for post-secondary education, and allocating over $197 million in road funding for our region. The hard work, ingenuity and dedication of business leaders in Northern Kentucky have paved the way for economic prosperity. The resulting passage of these issues has accelerated businesses, created jobs, and will continue to position Northern Kentucky as an economic driver that benefits the entire Commonwealth. However, there is still more public policy work to advance. The NKY Chamber will continue to work with lawmakers to ensure Northern Kentucky becomes more competitive and the best place for our businesses to thrive. We appreciate our member’s continuous support of the NKY Chamber and our advocacy efforts. We look forward to working with all levels of government to ensure we are helping our region build healthy businesses, healthy communities and a healthy region.

Rhonda Whitaker

John Nienaber

Chamber Board Chair Duke Energy

Vice Chair Chamber Advocacy Heritage Bank

Brent Cooper

Kristin Baldwin

President & CEO NKY Chamber

VP, Public Affairs & Communications NKY Chamber kbaldwin@nkychamber.com c 502.370.5600 | @NKYCCAdvocacy




Shelley Funke-Frommeyer

“As a wealth advisor in the Northern Kentucky area, poorly constructed workers’ compensation laws deeply affect the financial health and wellbeing to BOTH the employee and the employer. Employees earn more, build skills, and rebuild confidence by getting back to modified work quickly after an injury. Employers value employees often as if they are members of their own family. None of us want to see a family member hurting financially or physically. Thank you Rep. Diane St. Onge and Rep. Adam Koenig for keeping this conversation front and center and caring so much about our Northern Kentucky families.”

Financial Advisor Waddell & Reed, Inc.

“In the wake of the Parker v. Webster County Coal case, we were expecting an increase of approximately 6% at this year’s workers’ compensation insurance renewal. HB2 provided a solution to this issue and brought more clarity to the underwriting process in Kentucky.” Charlie Vance CEO Erigo Employment Solutions

HB 2 - Workers’ Compensation Rep. Koenig Improves the efficiency of the workers’ compensation system to contain rising medical costs and encourage a quick return to work for injured employees. PAGE 4


WORKERS’ COMPENSATION “Workers’ compensation is an issue every employer must face and can drastically affect a company’s bottom line. A recent KY Supreme Court ruling reversed a major factor from the workers’ compensation legislation passed in 1995, by extending benefits past the normal retirement age. This would have resulted in premium increase of up to 50%. It is imperative that KY keeps a healthy and competitive workers’ compensation environment in order to attract new employers to the state and retain the ones we already have.” Brian Jones President & CEO C.K. Ash Insurance

TAX MODERNIZATION STATE “We are very bullish on the recent changes to the Kentucky tax code because they address two key needs. The new flat tax for individuals and corporations simply makes Kentucky a better place to do business. As importantly, we hope the increase in the cigarette tax will increase tax revenue and encourage more individuals in our community to focus on their health.” Dan Cahill Vice President, Market Leader HORAN

HB 366 - Tax Reform Reps. Rudy/Fleming Lowering the top corporate and individual income tax rates and establishing a fairer, flat rate of 5 percent. Adopting a single-factor apportionment formula based on sales. Phasing in a new inventory tax credit to effectively repeal the inventory tax without removing a key revenue source for local governments. LEGISLATIVE OUTCOMES 2017 & 2018


PENSION REFORM “Pension reform is critical to our Commonwealth in so many ways. It stabilizes our future pension expenses, which provides more funds to our public schools. It also assures that our economic and job creation climate will be competitive with our surrounding states.”

John Nienaber Senior Vice President Heritage Bank

SB 151 - Pension Reform Sen. Bowen Reforms to KY’s pension system take several meaningful steps to address the pension crisis and put the Commonwealth on a more stable financial footing. SB 151 introduces important structural reforms and includes the utilization of level-dollar amortization for paying off unfunded liabilities and a cap on factoring sick days into retirement benefits. In addition, by introducing hybrid cash-balance plans into the Teacher Retirement System, the bill lowers risks for taxpayers and provides educators with a sustainable retirement package. These measures will help to ensure the longevity of Kentucky’s public retirement system and lower long-term costs for the state and local governments.

“The enactment of pension legislation, especially the rate phase-in provisions of HB 362, represents a great win for local governments. The avoidance of a 50% increase in retirement expenses on July 1st, with a more gradual phasein of rates, will position the pension system on a stable path to recovery and ensure that counties and cities are able to continue investing in our infrastructure and holding the line on taxes to encourage business investment and job growth.” Gary Moore Judge/Executive Boone County

HB 362 Pension Phase-In Rep. Moore Provides a phase-in for the required increases in contribution paid by local governments into the County Employee Retirement System, thereby avoiding local tax increases on businesses.



Drowning in insurance costs? Join our pool. It’s no secret that insurance costs have become downright burdensome for employers and employees. To help with that challenge, Erigo invites you to join our large group insurance pool and realize substantial savings for your business and employees by spreading risk. It’s a simple solution. You join other small businesses in the Erigo group and we negotiate rates based on the larger pool, leveraging economies of scale and delivering more manageable premiums. Business Benefits, a tristate insurance agency with more than 30 years of experience, partners with Erigo to evaluate the options that best serve the employers’ interests and employees’ needs. As a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), Erigo also solves problems and issues related to human resources, workers’ compensation, risk management, employee benefits, and payroll administration. For a proposal, contact Connie Flynn at 859.414.0776 or email cflynn@erigoes.com.

Erigo Employer Solutions | 859.905.0092 | ErigoES.com Business Benefits Insurance Solutions | 859.331.3232 | BusinessBenefits.com

Insurance Solutions

TAX MODERNIZATION FEDERAL “The Tax Cut and Jobs Act provided an opportunity to support our employees and communities through bonuses, an increase in the minimum wage and a $15 million contribution to the Fifth Third Foundation. These actions are consistent with our longstanding belief that investing in employees and our communities leads to an improved customer experience.” Richard Tiberi Senior Vice President, SW Region Manager 5/3 Bank

“The tax reform law has created an opportunity for PNC to reward its employees who are working hard each day to serve our customers, build strong relationships in our communities and create long-term value for our shareholders. We support the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s efforts in advocating for the business community and professionals in our region.” Jay Wuest Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking PNC Bank

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act H.R.1 Congressman Brady Washington has passed the first major tax reform in more than three decades, lowering rates for all businesses, making our tax system more competitive, and unleashing a new era of growth for the American economy. Business leaders are investing back into their companies, rewarding their employees, and hiring more American workers.



PREVAILING WAGE “Elimination of the prevailing wage requirement has reduced the labor cost on public building construction by approximately 15%. Many projects that were not financially feasible because of prevailing wage, are now moving forward. Not only do school districts, universities and other public entities benefit from these cost savings, but design professionals, building material suppliers and construction contractors also benefit from this additional work in the marketplace.” Bob Heil Principal, President & CEO KLH Engineers

HB 3 (2017) - Prevailing Wage Reps. Hoover/Koenig Repeals the prevailing wage requirement that exists for all public projects costing over $250,000 thereby reducing the cost of important infrastructure projects.

RIGHT TO WORK “Right-to-work puts Northern Kentucky on an equal playing field with many of our neighboring states and will help create and attract new jobs from global companies that demand a competitive business environment. We consistently hear from site selectors that right-to-work is an important attraction tool for companies considering a new location.” Dan Tobergte President & CEO Northern Kentucky Tri-ED

HB 1 (2017) - Right-to-Work Reps. Hoover/DeCesare Prohibits the collection of union dues as a condition of employment. KY now gives workers a choice regarding joining a union and paying dues.



CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE “The NKY Chamber recognizes that a healthy workforce is critical to the success of businesses and economic growth. Increasing the cigarette tax by 50 cents, although not the $1 that we urged, still reflects movement towards public policy that can improve health in our communities.” Dr. Lynne Saddler District Director NKY Health Department

HB 200 - Cigarette Tax Increase Rep. Rudy Raising the cigarette tax from $0.60 to $1.10 per pack. An increase to $1.60 would have had a more positive impact on health outcomes, but a 50 cent increase is a positive step forward.

NKU FUNDING “NKU’s expected $5M share of the $31M Performance Fund will narrow NKU’s historic funding gap and help us absorb other state appropriation cuts. Coupled with the one-year freeze in our pension contribution at the current year level, we are better poised to continue graduating talent to serve our region’s workforce needs, particularly in high-growth employment areas, such as health care and information technology.” Gerry St. Amand Interim President Northern Kentucky University

HB 200 - Post Secondary Performance Based Funding Rep. Rudy Provides funding for a formula to align the state’s investment in higher education to an institution’s ability to meet key outcomes. No longer will politics determine an institution’s funding level.



ANGEL INVESTOR TAX CREDIT “This was a tough year for Frankfort. The budget dynamics required new austerity for many programs and Angel Tax Credits were not spared. However, the NKY delegation worked hard on this issue and the result was just a two-year moratorium, much better than where it appeared to be headed. Many local legislators have long been champions of this efficient economic development catalyst. I appreciate their work and continuing efforts. I trust we will be back in two years with even more success.” David Heidrich CEO Zalla Companies

HB 366 - Angel Investor Tax Credit Reps. Rudy/Fleming The KY Angel Investor Tax Credit program was suspended in 2019-2020 due to budget shortfalls, but will resume in 2021 with a $3 million annual program cap. The 11 to 1 return on investment for this tax credit fosters a strong environment for NKY’s entrepreneurial community.

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Florence Office 8545 US 42 Florence, KY (859) 283-6222 Ft. Wright Office 3425 Valley Plaza Parkway Ft. Wright, KY (859) 344-7860 LEGISLATIVE OUTCOMES 2017 & 2018


Because Our Public Policy Spurs Business Growth Tax Modernization jumped KY 15 spots BOONE







2018 State Business Tax Climate Index - Tax Foundation

NKY Population 4% Growth

2010 431K

2018 450K

Boone County is the fastest growing county in KY and Cincinnati Metro

Lowest cost index in the nation

#1 Cincinnati Metro 94.0 Among the 31 largest cites

Compared to KY and the US, NKY* has LOWEST unemployment, HIGHEST labor

Unemployment Rate 2017:

Labor Force Participation Rate 2016:

NKY: 4.1%

NKY: 66.9%

KY: 4.9%

KY: 59.2%

US: 4.4%

US: 63.3%

*NKY includes Boone, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Owen and Pendleton counties.

Amazon Prime Air: $1.5 Billion, 2,700 jobs at CVG KYâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s LARGEST capital investment announcement in 2017






New Direct Jobs


3,564+ New Indirect/ Induced Jobs

$1.75B 100 National Baseline

-2016 KPMG Competitive Alternatives Report named Cincinnat metro as the most business cost friendly among the largest US metro areas.


New Capital Investment Record Breaking Investment Year

New Direct Labor Income Projected Average Salary: $40,000

- Northern Kentucky Tri-ED 2017 Annual Report

force participation, HIGHEST GDP % change YOY & HIGHER median HH income.

Gross Domestic Product Growth Rate 2015-2016:

Median Household Income 2016:

NKY: 4.6%

NKY: $58,422

KY: 2.7%

KY: $44,811

US: 3.0%

US: $55,322 -Data procurred from JobsEQ on May 15, 2018.

PEER REVIEW/ MEDICAL REVIEW PANELS “Medical review panels and peer review protections are important medical liability reforms to help assure access to high quality providers and to reduce healthcare costs in the community. Medical review panels reduce frivolous lawsuits and stabilize the market, improving recruitment of providers to the region and lowering healthcare costs to businesses.   Peer review protection provides an open process to improve the quality of care and patient safety in Northern Kentucky.”

Rosanne Nields VP, Planning & Government Relations St. Elizabeth Healthcare

“With rising healthcare costs continuing to negatively impact employers’ bottom line I am pleased that our state representatives have taken a responsible approach towards reducing the financial toll attributed to the medical liability environment in Kentucky. With the passage of medical review panel and peer review laws we can effectively foster an environment that elevates the standard of care in Kentucky while protecting patients’ rights and lessoning the cost of care.”

Geralyn Isler Vice-President of Compliance Business Benefits



PEER REVIEW/ MEDICAL REVIEW PANELS “Prior to this session – Kentucky ranked as the 42nd worst state in “Lawsuit Climate”; and worse in some specific metrics. Medical Review Panels (MPR) and Peer Review laws, passed by this General Assembly, will move Kentucky forward.  MRP will ensure the standard of care is either met or breached before a frivolous lawsuit is filed by (primarily out of state) phishing plaintiff counsel.  Peer Review allows for meaningful root cause analysis and system improvement in the practice of medicine, which is crucial to learning and improving.  Our NKY Legislators have lead the way on reasonable, meaningful liability reforms.  Kentucky should continue to progress towards a fair and reasonable liability system and we have high confidence our NKY Caucus will lead the way, supported by our NKY Chamber.”

John Muller Chief Operating Officer Carespring Healthcare Management

HB 4 - Medical Peer Review Rep. Wuchner Allows medical professionals to confidentially review the work of their peers without the information being used in litigation. Kentucky was one of the two states without these protections.

SB 4 (2017) Medical Review Panels Sen. Alvarado Establishes a system of medical review panels to address the escalating costs directly attributed to KY’s uncontrolled medical liability climate, an issue of serious concern to employers.



OPIOID ADDICTION CRISIS “The 2018 Legislative Session brought new laws which enhance quality care in Addiction Treatment facilities receiving state dollars and laws which seek to reduce the supply of controlled substances in circulation. We at the Addiction Services Council, being among the beneficiaries of this important legislation and proud member of the Chamber, monitor the 24 hour addiction Helpline at 859-415-9280, as well as manage our Quick Response Teams throughout Boone and Kenton Counties. It’s making a difference.” Kevin Richardson Development Director Addiction Services Council

“The impact that the opioid crisis has had on our community is profound. Prevention, treatment, protection, and recovery supports are vital to ensuring that a healthy and thriving workforce is in place to meet employer needs, especially given our region’s low unemployment rate and strong labor participation rate.” Wonda Winkler Executive Vice President Brighton Center, Inc.

HB 148 - Opioid Disposal Reps. Wuchner, Moser Allows hospice to dispose of the controlled substances of a deceased hospice patient, an important step to curb Kentucky’s opioid crisis.

HB 124 - Substance Abuse Disorder Treatment Reps. Wuchner, Moser Requires enhanced licensure and quality standards for substance use disorder treatment and recovery after a state review of current standards used statewide.

SB 6 - Unused Controlled Substances Sen. Kerr Requires a pharmacists to provide information about the safe disposal of certain prescription medicines, such as opiates and amphetamines, in an effort to combat KY’s opioid crisis. PAGE 16


SYRINGE ACCESS EXCHANGE PROGRAM “St. Elizabeth and our community have come together to create positive change for countless individuals and families in Northern Kentucky. Syringe exchange will spur our community’s combined efforts to prevent and reduce the number of individuals who contract infectious diseases. The program will also help connect those suffering from substance use disorder to treatment and recovery options. Our advocacy is helping to significantly reduce our community’s fears and anxieties about this effective health program.” Garren Colvin President & CEO St. Elizabeth Healthcare

Syringe Access Exchange Program Syringe access exchange programs are a tool to reduce the threat of infectious disease, as well as a way to engage clients who are in a cycle of substance abuse and provide them with a path to treatment resources and wrap-around health services. Operations are due to begin July 2018 for Campbell County/Newport and Kenton County/Covington programs. The Grant County/Williamstown program has been operational for over a year and is highly successful.

Founded in Covington more than 150 years ago, St. Elizabeth’s roots run deep within Northern Kentucky. We provide compassionate and comprehensive healthcare for the people we serve in our home. Thank you to our state legislators for their support in helping to pass legislation impacting the establishment of peer review protection, medicaid managed care improvements, coverage of telemedicine, continued measures against the opioid crisis and an increase of the cigaree tax.


TRANSPORTATION FUNDING “A key component to attract and retain employees, and particularly truck drivers, is getting them to and from our company and their residence without being delayed in extended traffic conditions. We applaud the NKY Chamber in its efforts to secure the $197 million two year road plan funding. While it’s a start, we still have a long way to go to improve our road infrastructure.” Paul Verst President & CEO Verst Logistics

HB 202 - Two Year Road Plan Reps. Rudy/Santoro The biennial highway construction plan for FY 2019-2020 makes historical investments in NKY. Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties were awarded $197 million in the two year road plan to address our region’s rapidly expanding industry and residential growth.

REFORMULATED GAS REPEAL “Even though it may have taken a long and concerted effort by many to repeal the Reformulated Gasoline requirement in Northern Kentucky, it will save our economy millions of dollars with little to no environmental cost. In an era where every dollar counts for things like schools, transportation projects and pensions, why wouldn’t we pursue such goals?” Steve Harper Owner Harper Oil Products

Reformulated Gas Repeal EPA approved the removal of the requirement of reformulated gasoline in Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties.



TRANSPORTATION FUNDING Address Bridge Deficiencies $30M

Brent Spence Bridge: Maintenance, Repair & Painting


Combs Hehl Bridge, I-275 over Ohio River


KY 2045 over Brushy Creek



Railroad on Richardson Rd and US 25



KY 177 over Bowman Creek



12 Mile Creek and Neises Rd


Kenton Campbell


Roebling Bridge over Ohio River


Covert Run Pike and Taylor Creek



Gibson Rd Bridge over Threemile Creek



Pavement/Resurfacing $24M

I-75 from MM 169 to MM 183



I-275 from MM 0 to MM 1.5



Dudley Rd Phase 3 and 4; Catherine Dr to Summit Hills CC



I-275 from MM 82 to MM 83



I-275 and Graves Rd



Pleasant Valley Rd to Hopeful Church Rd



Hands Pike from KY 17 to Crystal Lake Dr



KY 536 from railroad bridge to KY 1303



Amsterdam Rd from General Dr to Redwood Dr



Turkeyfoot Rd to Dixie Hwy



Improve junction of I-75 and I-275



KY 17 and I-275 Interchange


New Interchange/Route


Congestion Mitigation

Transportation Enhancement $2.7M

7th St sidewalk replacement & underground utilities



Madison Ave underground utilities



Donaldson Rd to Houston Rd to Mineloa Pike



Mineloa Pike to I-275



Construct a new turn lane at Mubea



Bike/Pedestrian Improvement $2.7M

South Monmouth Phase 1


Dolwick Rd to Mineola Pike to Olympic Blvd


Riverfront Commons, Berry St to 4th Ave



US 27 South Monmouth Underpass


* See HB202 for complete listing of road projects in FY 19-20

Campbell Boone


Kentucky State Senate

Senator Julian Carroll

Senator John Schickel

Senator Damon Thayer

District 7

District 11

District 17

Senator Paul Hornback

Senator Chris McDaniel

Senator Wil Schroder

District 20

District 23

District 24


Kentucky House of Representatives

Representative Rick Rand

Representative Sal Santoro

Representative Brian Linder

District 47

District 60

District 61

Representative Philip Pratt

Representative Diane St. Onge

Representative Kim Moser

District 62

District 63

District 64

Representative Arnold Simpson

Representative Addia Wuchner

Representative Dennis Keene

District 65

District 66

District 67

Representative Joe Fischer

Representative Adam Koenig

Representative Mark Hart

District 68

District 69

District 78

OUTSTANDING - WHAT DIDN’T HAPPEN SB 2 - Caps on Damages Sen. Alvarado Proposed amendment to the KY Constitution to allow the General Assembly to limit damages and create uniform means of addressing excessive litigation by attorneys who prey on KY employers.

SB 20 - Medical Liability Reform Sen. Alvarado Would have ensured claims against medical providers are fair and have merit thereby addressing KY’s overly litigious environment toward the medical field.

HB 227 - Net Metering Rep. Gooch Would have updated private solar net metering laws to ensure electric utility customers pay their fair share of cost of service. The current law leads to those without private solar subsidizing the costs of those with private solar.

HB 609 - Transportation Funding Rep. Santoro Would have increased funding to KY’s Road Fund by increasing the gas tax by $0.10 per gallon and imposing some fees in an attempt to jump start the state’s stagnant Road Fund.

Proud supporter of the NKY Chamber and local businesses to build strong, connected communities.

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GO THE DISTANCE FOR CHANGE. Proud to support the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

We’re powered by what’s most important. At Duke Energy, we care about our communities. That’s why we support the NKY Legislative Caucus’ actions to ensure a continued healthy business climate here in Northern Kentucky. And why we’re partnering with local and state economic development groups to recruit new business, creating better jobs and opportunities. Because, every day, we’re powered by what’s most important – you. Learn more about how we’re powered by you at duke-energy.com/Community.

Profile for Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Advocacy in Action  

NKY Chamber Legislative Outcomes 2017 & 2018

Advocacy in Action  

NKY Chamber Legislative Outcomes 2017 & 2018