Kentucky Newsmakers 12/18: Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ashli Watts

Kentucky Newsmakers
Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 7:45 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - On the latest episode of Kentucky Newsmakers, WKYT’s Bill Bryant talks with Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ashli Watts.

It is lively here during the holiday season, with Kentucky businesses ringing up sales and lawmakers and lobbyists getting ready to take a pause before descending on Frankfort.

The to-do list for the legislature is long for a 30-day session, and some in leadership have downplayed expectations.

Kentucky is running a historic budget surplus. More money is coming into state coffers than anticipated. And many are clamoring for some of that extra cash to be invested in areas including education, cost of living hikes for state retirees and mental health services.

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is the state’s largest business organization and a powerful political force in Frankfort. The chamber calls for more pro-growth tax reforms, housing affordability and for expanded gaming and sports betting.

The Kentucky Chamber also says the state’s liability laws keep some businesses from being competitive and there are continuing concerns about the workforce.

Ashli Watts is the President and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and is the first woman to head up the Kentucky Chamber.