In collaboration with the Department of Political Science at University of Louisville, CPC has curated the Commonwealth Policy Papers publication housed within UofL's Institutional Repository. This publication includes a collection of whitepapers, short briefs, and bill drafts developed from the policy initiatives of our centers. Our papers are distributed to elected officials throughout the Commonwealth, and we hope to likewise be a policy resource for legislators throughout the nation. By publishing in the Commonwealth Policy Papers, CPC's Fellows are able to ensure the success of their work and preserve solutions for the future of local democracy. 

Our Recent Papers

"Support New Business to Solve Old Problems with Kentucky’s Keystone Waste from Bourbon & Brewing"

Authors: Samuel Kessler, Senior Fellow at Center for Environmental & Sustainable Development

The full white paper can be found here.

Provided here is a policy solution from the backside of Kentucky bourbon and brewing to upcycle Kentucky’s “keystone” wastes and grow businesses in the process. Potential effects range from removing the bottleneck on bourbon production and producing GHG-friendly biogas to lowering the price of milk.This full whitepaper brief provides an incentive model for keystone wastes which have a provider and a use. It is equally applicable for policymakers or advocates wishing to place a policy incentive behind waste-to-product upcycling, businesses involved with methane sequestration & renewable biogas energy, and shifting regulatory and penalizing models of pollution into incentive model for alternate pollutant use while maintaining integrity of environmental standards. This solution was modeled from significant stakeholder feedback on “the backside of bourbon”, and was drafted according to interest-based negotiation principles which are reviewed in detail from the work of materials of Roger Fisher and the Harvard Program on Negotiation. This policy refers to bourbon stillage and spent grain as Kentucky’s “keystone” waste, referring to the similar ecological term “keystone species”. This means a species that is vital to energy transfer throughout the entire ecosystem. Keystone wastes, then, which may be uniquely identified within the political economy of any state, hold great potential to be “upcycled” to extract new economic value from creation of new products or valuable uses, and by being a keystone waste, have those uses proliferate energy throughout the regional economy.

"A Geographically Targeted Approach for a Preceptor Tax Incentive Using Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs)"

Authors: Julia Mattingly, Policy Fellow at Center for Healthcare Disparities

Sarah Belcher, Associate Fellow at Center for Healthcare Disparities

The full white paper can be found here.


Years before the COVID-19 pandemic brought on a health care shortage in Kentucky, its rural areas were already struggling to obtain and attract primary care medical practitioners. Even though the number of medical school graduates in the U.S. has steadily increased throughout the years, there is a general disinterest in rural or small-town practice, and legislators throughout the country have pondered ways to address this issue plaguing communities. Versions of Preceptor Tax Incentive legislation in Kentucky have been proposed in the General Assembly to address care shortages in the state, however, all have been unsuccessful at truly targeting rural areas where preceptors are needed the most.


After interviews with Kentucky and Georgia policymakers, Kentucky AHEC officials, medical providers, and other stakeholders, we concluded that a more targeted approach to preceptor tax incentive legislation was needed using Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs), which are geographic areas, population groups, or health care facilities that have been designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration as having a shortage of primary care health professionals. This new structure creates a nonrefundable income tax credit to be claimed by any non-compensated, community-based, Kentucky-licensed primary care preceptor practicing in one of Kentucky’s HRSA-designated Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) and supervising 3rd and 4th year medical/osteopathic students, physician assistant students, and advanced practice registered nurse students. Since research shows that where medical students do their clinical rotations influences where they ultimately decide to practice, it is vital that there are plenty of primary care preceptors in rural and underserved areas to expose students to this kind of unique work environment. Increasing the number of primary care preceptors in rural communities would curb primary care shortages in the long-term and lead more medical students to practice in these areas once they graduate.