Day at the Capitol Wrap Up
ICBM members were at the State Capitol in St. Paul on March 1 to get a comprehensive legislative update and meet with their legislators.
"Community banks focus on creating lifelong partnerships with local businesses and customers," said ICBM President/CEO Jim Amundson. "We're here today to tell that community banking story."
Attendees conducted nearly 90 meetings with members of both the Senate and House. On the top of their agenda was:
Bankers joined many members of the 2017 Residential PACE Consumer Protection Task Force in opposition to legislation that would allow residential PACE financing to occupy a superior lien position.
Addressing Tax Disparities and Conformity
Bankers supported repealing the Minnesota estate tax and/or state conformity with the federal exclusion amount of $11.2 million for 2018. Minnesota is one of the few states that imposes an estate tax.
Leveling the Playing Field on Regulation and Business
Other regulated industries are exempt from exam fees and annual assessments. Bankers encouraged efforts to level the playing field to ensure that other industries are paying their fair share.
Before heading to the Capitol, bankers heard from Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt; the newly appointed Commerce Commissioner Jessica Looman; House Commerce Chairman Joe Hoppe; and Representative Bob Vogel.
Vogel encouraged attendees to get to know their representatives. "It's helpful as a legislator to know people from your area that support you," he said. "Relationships don't matter until they matter. When the time comes, they can be very important."
Vogel also spoke to attendees about the need for greater transparency for state pensions, support for workforce housing, mental health initiatives for farmers, and the availability of child care.
Attendees also received a reporter's perspective on this year's short session from Tom Hauser, Chief Political Reporter for KSTP Twin Cities.
"You'll always hear legislators say in these even-year sessions, 'we don't really need to do anything.' They say it for every session that isn't a budget year," Hauser said. "The reality is that in just one week in this session we have a long list of things that 'must' happen. The list includes tax conformity with the federal tax code, a bonding bill, the state's pension liabilities, fixing the vehicle records system (MNLARS), elder abuse, and school safety."
As the legislature considers which issues will take priority, ICBM will remain engaged in seeking the best possible outcome for Minnesota's community banks, Amundson said. "We'll continue to fulfill our longtime mission," he said, "serving as your advocate in St. Paul."
Questions? Contact Patti Coles at email@example.com or 651-789-3987