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Last week, the California State Legislature adjourned for the 2009-2010 session. Over the next several weeks, we will provide you with summary and commentary of key legislation in upcoming editions of the Insider.
Despite the adjournment of the legislature, IBA West’s advocacy efforts continue year-round. We continue to consult with legislators and their staff members, providing them with information to help them address issues that affect your clients. In addition, we are constantly in touch with staff at the California Department of Insurance; various insurance companies, both regional and national; the State Fund; and sometimes even with local municipalities. IBA West has been advocating for you for over 100 years. We are the leading independent insurance broker & agent advocate group in California and we intend to earn that distinction for many, many years to come.
Not surprisingly, we have learned a few things along the way. The most important thing we’ve learned is that advocacy is a process. We respect the process and treat the process with integrity and class. As a result, the legislature, the Department of Insurance, The State Fund, insurance companies and others seek out our opinion. They typically come to us early in the process to find out what the brokers and agents think about an issue.
Often our advocacy efforts will span years on a single issue. Legislative term limits, an elected Insurance Commissioner, the sometimes revolving door of insurance company leadership, etc., all contribute to a strategy that takes time to execute and bring to conclusion. It’s a chess game. We are good at it because we have seasoned professionals on the IBA West team, including John Norwood, IBA West’s Legislative Advocate, and Steve Young, IBA West General Counsel, that have built the necessary relationships with the decision makers and taken the time to clearly identify and deliver the message. Our goal is to create solutions that are best for you, your clients and the California insurance marketplace.
IBA West's advocacy efforts are funded from several advocacy funds. These funds are a key element of the success our political action program and long-range plan to strengthen our advocacy effectiveness. For more information regarding our political action committees, including how to make a contribution, please click here.
By the time the next legislature session convenes, more than half of the legislature will have changed due to elections this fall. We are eager to begin working with those new legislators and their staff members as soon as they take office.
As we close this legislative session, I want to say that it is a privilege and an honor to represent you as an IBA West member. Your continuing support gives us the voice in Sacramento that we express on your behalf.
Thank you for your membership.
Kevin M. Baker, CRM, CIC, ARM, AAI, CRIS
President, IBA West