Happy Spring everybody! Well…we’re not quite there yet and given the snowpack conditions across the state we should probably hope for a slow, methodical melt. My heart goes out to those across the upper Midwest who are struggling with water and flooding issues. I’m hopeful that you all, especially those in the Red River Valley, are able to escape any damage and stay safe during this white-knuckle time.
After spending last week at the ICBA Convention in Nashville, I was reminded again that one of the very best parts of my job which is visiting with our members about what’s going on in their communities and at their banks. For a number of reasons, it feels like it’s been a long winter and I haven’t gotten to have as many of those visits as I’d like. Of course, the colder than normal weather plays a part in that. But more significantly, I’ve been cooped up these last three months in crowded, poorly ventilated hearing rooms at the Capitol seeing all the same people every day and most of them are either on the front end or back end of cold or flu conditions! Happens like that every session. And, how many times does one have to respond to the old “cold enough for you” question?
Don’t get me wrong, my number one priority is to advocate for community banks at the Capitol every other year and it’s incumbent upon me to present a strong and thoughtful message about the importance of community banking in our still very rural state. In many ways it’s an easy message and most lawmakers do understand the critical role community banks play in their districts. But as Ronald Reagan famously said “trust, but verify”. It is an important concept to embrace. It’s critical to have that presence because, believe it or not, things can move rapidly in our state legislature. And, just as a good idea can come from anywhere, so can a bad one and believe me there are some bad ones.
I won’t bore you with the specifics of the legislative session in this message. I already do that on a weekly basis with my legislative updates (https://www.icbnd.com/news-advocacy/legislative-session-updates). Instead, I want you to know that I’m very much looking forward to the legislature adjourning sine die. Then, I can get back on the road and visit you all on your home turf!