The most acute issue facing Kansas businesses is their difficulty recruiting and retaining employees. Four key areas must be addressed:
- Childcare. The Topeka Chamber urges the state to explore solutions to the critical lack of available childcare. This has become a roadblock to businesses and families trying to return to work. Responses could include making existing childcare tax credits more accessible, exploring the benefits of universal pre-K education in Kansas and standing ready to take advantage of available federal funding.
- Workforce Training. The Topeka Chamber urges further collaboration among all the relevant stakeholders (K-12, higher education, early childhood education providers, technical educators, community colleges and the business community) to develop creative approaches to education and workforce training.
- Higher Education. The Topeka Chamber supports the requests of the Kansas Board of Regents to restore funding for public universities, community colleges, and technical colleges to pre-pandemic levels. Furthermore, proper funding of need-based student aid programs will also ensure student access to private colleges and universities in Kansas.
- Housing. The quality and quantity of our housing stocks are not adequate to attract talented people to live and work in our communities. The Topeka Chamber urges the state to explore ways to help the residential real estate market regain its ability to produce housing in step with demand.
Undisrupted movement of people, goods and ideas into and across the The Topeka Chamber region is critical to unlocking the economic potential along the Animal Health Corridor.
- Transportation. The Topeka Chamber supports undiminished funding of the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program and will work as an active partner to (i) move the project to replace and expand the South Lawrence Trafficway (K10) through the Development and Construction Pipelines; and (ii) ensure the Polk-Quincy Viaduct Project continues to completion without delay.
- Broadband. The Topeka Chamber also urges relevant stakeholders to collaborate in order to facilitate the extension of broadband technologies to all portions of Kansas where such services are likely to be in demand and continue to work to help individuals, businesses and families readily utilize the technologies to which they have access. The Topeka Chamber supports the responsible investment of AARPA funds to help this expansion of broadband coverage.
kansans are fiscally responsible
The Topeka Chamber supports a stable, fiscally responsible tax policy that encourages business growth and is competitive with surrounding states. The Topeka Chamber encourages the legislature to seek ways to make state tax reporting requirements more business friendly, especially for small businesses. The Topeka Chamber supports restoration of the Research and Development income tax credit to all types of business entities. The Topeka Chamber also supports the Kansas Framework for Growth, as well as existing incentives, such as the HPIP, PEAK and STAR bonds. The Topeka Chamber urges the State of Kansas to consider investing one-time federal funding in economic prosperity initiatives.
kansans are in it together
The Topeka Chamber supports efforts to create a culture of health in the workplace and our neighborhoods. This includes strategies and solutions that would improve outcomes, expand access, help control health care costs and ensure the ongoing viability of health care providers and those they serve. The Topeka Chamber supports taking advantage of federal funding by expanding Medicaid.
For information about the Chamber’s legislative priorities, contact Curtis Sneden, president, 785.215.8657.