Government Affairs: It’s Always Something
Like many election years, 2018 has seen fewer legislative bills on the floor with the issues tending to have softer tones for our General Assembly. We expect to see a shorter session as the Senators and Representatives prepare to return home and run their respective Campaigns. Our industry continues to have good representation on Capitol Hill – giving us great insight as to what is happening to make our State a competitive place to conduct business.
Insurors Wants You to Be Involved
Thirty or more seats being vacated in the 2018 State election cycle make it even more urgent that our members become involved in their respective areas. Please contact us to discuss the candidates running in your local races, and definitely let us know if someone within your Agency is running for a State office.
Governor Bill Haslam has done a fine job for our State and will finish strong in his last year. We will be electing a new Governor to lead our State for the next four years, and I encourage you to review the platforms of the many fine contenders before making your decision for support. It is important to our industry and our businesses to elect governing officials with similar foresighted wisdom as that of our past leaders.
We have made competitive strides in our workers' compensation administration and want to continue to build our State as a more cost effective place to operate. One of the State Representatives leaving his seat is Jimmy Eldridge. He has been the chairman of the Consumer and Human Resource Committee for our State and a member of the Local Government and Calendar and Rules Committee. As chair of a committee that included work for our insurance industry, Jimmy has been helpful and accommodating to work with our group for 16 years. A longtime Insurors member, he was a former independent agency owner and agent in Jackson for 30 years and has been effective in handling legislative issues for our State. He will be missed, and we thank him for his service to Tennessee.
Federally, we will be electing a new United States Senator and reelecting or making some changes within our elected United States Representatives. We have been fortunate to have working relationships with our National leaders and hope that our members will continue to build and develop friendships with those chosen and elected for duty in our Nation’s Capital. We will send a group of our Tennessee agents to Washington in April to attend and participate in our Big "I" National Legislative Conference. Please give us your thoughts on national agenda items as we prepare to meet with the current members of Congress. It is important that we have a voice on a national level with the laws and direction of the business environment.
Still Serving Our Industry on the Hill
In January of this year, as the State of Tennessee cranked back into business, our legislators came back into session to work out the issues for our State. We co-hosted a legislative reception to become better acquainted with our State leaders and to discuss the needs for our State in regards to insurance regulations. We had heavy attendance from our State Representatives and Senators and continued to build on our ability to work together on the various insurance issues for Tennessee. Our full Board was in attendance, and I thank each of them for participating. Chuck and Ashley have been strong leaders for our Association within the State, and their efforts are also greatly appreciated.
On the State level, we have been heavily involved with updating the Surplus Lines Law, Commercial Insurance Modernization, the Marketplace platforms – and most recently – opposing the State's attempt to start their own self-run retirement plan. We have also been monitoring any other bills that may have an impact on the industry, no matter how small.
On the Federal level, we have been watching the saga around the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and also monitoring any Federal attempts to preempt State and Local regulation on data privacy requirements and standards. At our upcoming Big "I" Legislative Conference in D.C., over 700 agents will meet with elected officials to discuss these topics and more.
We Can't Do it Without Your Help
Finally, I want to thank each of you for your past participation with our State and National PACs. I would also like to encourage those who have missed the opportunity to contribute in past cycles to consider involvement both monetarily and with local election efforts now and in the future. Your donation – of any amount – is helpful and gives us the ability to unite as a group and be represented in Nashville and Washington.
I am always reminded of the verse from Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision the people perish.”
For you to be involved with your time and monetary resource tells us there will be a vision and our collective voice is important to that vision. Please take a moment to send contributions to our State and National PAC, and we will collectively put them to work for you and our insurance industry. Visit www.insurors.org/IOT/About/Government_Affairs/IOT/News/IOT_Government_Affairs.aspx or contact Ashley Gold at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Let's keep our industry and our agencies protected and support our Association. u