April 27, 2011
In last week’s message, I wrote about the great success that the banking industry and lobbyists have had at the Statehouse during the 2011 session of the Indiana General Assembly. I also cautioned that we would likely face more obstacles before the session adjourns. By this Friday, we should know our fate, as both the House and the Senate have vowed to “sine die” by April 29. Sine die is Latin for “without a day specified for a future meeting.” In other words, for the foreseeable future, we will be safe from acts of the Legislature!
As of this writing, the banking industry is in good shape. Most importantly, the Senate version of the budget makes no mention of the Public Deposit Insurance Fund (PDIF)—no taking of the $250 million corpus, no forgiveness of the $50 million “borrowed” by the legislature in 2003 to balance the budget. This strong stance is the direct result of the industry’s impressive grassroots campaign and the well-planned strategy of the IBA Government Relations Team of Amber Van Til and Dax Denton. Kudos to all.
This week will likely portend many surprises, twists and unanticipated results. Conference Committees tend to do that. Conference Committees are appointed from both chambers, generally with a representative from each caucus within each chamber, to iron out differences in bills that have passed both the House and the Senate. Even though language to take all or part of the PDIF is not present in either the House budget or the Senate budget, it is present in the Governor’s version, so the PDIF remains in play.
The IBA Government Relations Team will be vigilantly watching as these Conference Committees meet to verify that the PDIF is not tapped. If it is, we will call upon our grassroots bankers once again. I know that they will rise to the occasion if called upon. They have done so every time this year. Many thanks to all of those bankers who have answered the call!
– S. Joe DeHaven