Happy 2021 everyone! I know this is going to be a great year and I hope it’s starting off that way for you and yours. Things in life are often relative and compared to a baseline. If 2020 is our baseline for evaluating 2021, then hallelujah! I like our chances for improvement. Covid cases are down and we’re seeing some light at the end of the tunnel with respect to this dastardly pandemic. I also know that 2021 will have its challenges, I just hope they aren’t the same challenges that we’ve faced the past almost year now.
Having said that, 2020 was a showcase year for the value proposition community banks provide. You all were front and center helping your friends, neighbors and communities deal with uncertainty and fallout from the pandemic. We might have even thought the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was behind us. If so, we were wrong because round two is in full swing and I know that you all are stepping up and doing your part. Thank you for that and for letting me be a small part in assisting you. And we may not be done given the high dollar stimulus package being proposed by President Biden.
In addition to another round of PPP, we are off and running with the 67th Assembly of the North Dakota Legislature. The session convened January 5, 2021 so we are over three full weeks into it as I write these comments. The final bill deadlines were earlier this week resulting in nearly 900 bills. We are tracking about 80 of those. Some we are just monitoring while actively involved in other higher priority bills. It’s certainly an interesting process and I assure you that ICBND is there every step of the way advocating the interests of community banking in our state.
I provide weekly updates of the session and the measures that are important to us. You can find those updates at ICBND Legislative Updates. I try to provide a quick update of the past week’s activities and then provide more detailed information about our bill tracking list and upcoming hearings. You can also request to be on the distribution list by contacting Nanci or me.
Until next time, please take care!