Playing Offense at the Statehouse

Now that the holiday season is behind us, our thoughts turn to what we must accomplish in 2012. For the IBA, topping the list is the Indiana legislative session. For the past several years, the banking industry has been playing defense. We have successfully fought off attempts to change mortgage and foreclosure statutes that would negatively affect lenders and borrowers alike.

 This year, we will play offense. While there are many issues in which we will be on defense, our biggest issue is removing the corpus of the Public Deposit Insurance Fund (PDIF) from state government custody into a new, not-for-profit Public Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC).This new PDIC will have a contract with the State of Indiana guaranteeing coverage of all public deposits—meaning that the entities (depositories) and the insureds (local governments) will determine the best ways to assure taxpayers that they will not be asked to pay increased taxes to cover a loss due to the failure of an insured depository.

 Getting this legislation passed will not be easy. The Daniels administration will, no doubt, be opposed. Those legislators who look at this fund as an answer to funding needs in areas unrelated to taxpayer deposits will be opposed. Firefighters and police who currently benefit from the PDIF income stream likely will be opposed.

 The grassroots efforts of insured depository employers (banks, thrifts, savings banks, savings and loan associations and credit unions) will determine the success or failure of passage of this bill. Your lobbyists have had a bill drafted; our bill sponsors have introduced it, have talked with committee chairs to conduct hearings, and are counting votes. Now it is up to you.

 Please engage your staff in this important issue. We’re playing offense, and we need your help.

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