Follow our legislative priorities.

The Chamber identifies issues that affect Lawrence and mobilizes efforts toward solving those issues through civic engagement. The Chamber advocates for solutions to those issues through education and civic engagement among businesses, non-profit organizations and government.

Each year, The Chamber submits testimony on a wide range of issues that align with our guiding principles. The Chamber submits testimony independently and, when appropriate, with its partners in the METL Coalition.

Advocacy is just one of our member benefits. Click on the name of each issue to read the provided testimony to government leadership.

Interesting in getting an inside look at our advocacy efforts? Join our Government & Community Affairs Committee, which includes a mailing list and monthly luncheon! Email Hugh Carter, Vice President of External Affairs, to get started.

2021 Advocacy
Senate Bill 263: Expand Tax Credit Eligibility for Small Businesses Helping Employees with Childcare

“Childcare is a two-generation workforce challenge. There is tremendous untapped economic potential if Kansas can step up to solve the childcare challenge. Many employers want to facilitate more access to childcare for their working parents but do not know where to begin. Making childcare tax credits more accessible to small businesses is a step in the right direction.”

Changes to 2010 standards for delineating metropolitan and micropolitan statistical area

“We strongly believe that losing MSA status would hinder our opportunities for future business development and growth. Although it may be stated as a statistical demarcation, in reality, it is more than just a number.”

House Bill 2175: Allow Douglas County citizens to vote on the creation of a taxing district for the Dwayne Peaslee Technical Training Center

“Peaslee Tech enjoys great support from both the City of Lawrence and Douglas County, but this funding arrangement does not allow them to get a mortgage. Therefore, the leadership of Peaslee Tech would like the opportunity to ask Douglas County voters to approve the creation of a taxing district. The mill levy associated with this district would be roughly equal to the annual funding that Peaslee Tech currently receives from Douglas County citizens.”

House Bill 2101: the University Engineering Initiative Act

METL supports this bill. “This initiative has been extremely successful and exceeded its goal of creating a combined 1,365 engineering graduates in 2021. However, demand from the private sector for engineering graduates still far outstrips supply as more than 70% of private sector engineering firms indicate that they are not able to hire enough engineers.”

Decoupling the Kansas Industrial Training (KIT) and Kansas Industrial Retraining (KIR) workforce training programs from the High-Performance Incentive Program (HPIP)

METL supports this bill. “Most businesses that utilize the HPIP program do not necessarily need or want to participate in the KIT or KIR programs. Forcing them to do so causes unnecessary time and effort on the part of the business and is not an efficient use of our Economic Development Incentives Fund.”

Kansas Senate Bill 24: Energy Choices for Kansans

“As technology and innovation bring changes to the energy sector, businesses have new opportunities to lower their energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint. The Chamber supports legislation and programs that encourage businesses, public utilities, citizens, and local governments to invest in energy efficiency improvements.”

2020 Advocacy

Grocery + Restaurant Program

“We are writing to ask you to support an innovative concept that would provide an outlet for local restaurants to display and sell their products in a safe and efficient environment through local grocers.”

Medicaid Expansion

“We believe that improved access to health care will have a positive effect on health and labor force participation, fueling employment and economic growth for the state.”

KDOT FORWARD Transportation Program

“We recognize the importance of a quality, well-maintained, comprehensive highway system, and are concerned with delays in previously approved projects, as well as regularly scheduled maintenance of highways and bridges throughout the state.”

COVID Liability Limits

“An event like the COVID-19 pandemic calls for carefully limited safeguards so that only the most egregious disregard for public health and safety is penalized by the legal system.”

Funding for Independent Music Venues

“Without significant targeted intervention, many of these historic, iconic cultural institutions will be lost.”

2019 Advocacy

Association Health Care Plans

“AHPs are a major step in the right direction for small businesses and thousands of Kansans who will be able to buy lower cost health insurance plans.”

Kansas Energy Fairness Act

“Demand charges diminish an otherwise cost-effective, sustainable, renewable resource to help Kansans control their energy costs.”

Commerce Secretary David Toland’s Confirmation

“Secretary Toland has already made positive strides in our respective business communities and it is our hope that this success can move forward with his permanent appointment.”

Higher Education Funding

“Kansas businesses have a long history of innovation, entrepreneurship and hard work. We are proud to be part of that tradition and want to see our state’s economy flourish for decades to come.”


“METL express their full support for Senate Bill 186, which creates a much-needed program to plan, develop and operate the various modes and systems of transportation within the State of Kansas.”

Medicaid Expansion

“We believe that improved access to health care will have a positive effect on health and labor force participation, fueling employment and economic growth for the state.”

SLT West Leg Expansion

“Funding transportation projects that best support growth for our state will likely be the difference between surviving and thriving in the very near future.”

Plan 2040 – City of Lawrence

“By effectively limiting development in the existing City limits, The Chamber anticipates that the increasing cost of housing – and development in general – will accelerate.”

Economic Development Funding

“Funding a collaborative economic development effort helps create an environment that provides the opportunities for people and businesses to succeed, while leveraging partnerships to enhance services and quality of life.”

Lawrence Kansas

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