I think spring is finally here but it sure has taken its sweet time in arriving. Along with many across our great state, I’m crossing my fingers hoping for a growing season that can make up for the late field start that’s been encountered in much of the state. These are tough times in agriculture and producers need every bushel they can get. Mother Nature reminds us once again who is in charge!
Spring is a hopeful time as well. As the trees and grasses explode in response to a few long sunny days, we also hope for continued change on the regulatory relief front. And while we don’t have the same positive momentum at the federal level that we did a year ago with S. 2155 making its way to approval and signature, we continue to advocate as strongly as ever. In the waning days of April and the first day of May, twenty-six ICBND member bankers and guests converged again on Washington, DC along with community bankers from across the country for the 2019 ICBA Capital Summit.
While our message for regulatory relief remains consistent, we focused this year on Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering modernization; safe harbor legislation for banking cannabis in states where it’s been legalized; data security, fraud and privacy concerns; and housing finance reform that preserves the secondary market access for community bank mortgage lenders. Thanks again to all those who took time from their busy schedules to participate and to Dougherty and Company for their generous sponsorship.
Closer to home, the 66th Legislative Assembly of the North Dakota Legislature wrapped up Friday evening, April 26th which marked the 76th day of the session saving four days during the interim if there’s a need to reconvene. While we didn’t get everything we wanted from this session, independent community banking fared well and we will work hard in the interim voicing our advocacy message. I won’t belabor this message with details from the session as your eyes are probably just getting unblurred (MS Word tells me this is not a word, but I’m using it anyway) from my weekly updates the first four months of the year!
Finally, it’s still not too late to sign up for the ICBND Ag Lending School on the beautiful campus of BSC or ICBND’s 52nd Annual Convention. And, of course, it’s never too late to engage the future leadership of this great industry in the Emerging Leaders Development Program. Details of each can be found at www.icbnd.com.
Until next time, have a great summer!