I hope this message finds you recovering from the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s truly my favorite holiday and such a wonderful time to spend with family and friends. My favorite part was spending several days with my two grandsons who make me think that I should have had them first (I hope my wife and three daughters don’t read this…and I’m pretty confident they don’t!) A close second on my favorite list is gravy and stuffing. Why don’t we have this stuff more often during the year? I suppose a regular diet of gravy probably isn’t a wise health move.
As I look back on 2019, I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to represent you all and the interests of community banking in North Dakota and nationally. And, I’m proud of our accomplishments this past year. The 66th Assembly of the North Dakota Legislature convened on January 3 this year and adjourned on April 26. It’s always a busy time during North Dakota’s statutorily-limited 80 day session and while we didn’t get everything we hoped for out of the session, community banking fared well. I often tell people that it’s more of a defensive battle than offensive at our state capitol. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always critical to advocate for our wants and needs. And, we do. But, often we spend more of our time educating and advocating against bad ideas. Sometimes those are bad ideas for community banking and sometimes they are just bad ideas for our communities. And, one thing I’ve learned is that bad ideas can come from anywhere! Much of 2020’s activities will be preparing again for the 2021 session so please stay tuned.
At the federal level, we’ve at least seen some relief in the volume and velocity of new regulatory burden. We’re thankful for that. Legislatively, however, we’ve seen almost nothing and I’m not holding out great hope for further regulatory relief for community banking prior to the 2020 election. It’s not a secret to anyone that the federal legislative process is currently paralyzed by the impeachment proceedings and a divided majority between the House and Senate.
Moving forward, I’m thankful for the direction that your ICBND and ICB Services Boards of Directors provide us as we battle for the best interests of community banking. Over the past six months, we’ve developed a strategic plan for the 2020-2021 timeframe that I firmly believe serves the best interests of your industry. I appreciate the time and effort that these dedicated individuals provided in the process to develop and implement a roadmap for continued success.
Finally, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Until next time,