Nebraska Banker - January/February 2019

NEBRASKA BANKERS ASSOCIATION 9 President’s Message — continued from page 5 Contact Richard J. Baier at (402) 474-1555 or . long-standing tradition is to only make federal contributions with the support and approval of the NBA. Nebraska bankers, working with NBA staff, then deliver these federal BankPac checks to federal candidates. One of the primary benefits of having an affiliated federal BankPac is that the ABA handles much of the reporting to the Federal Election Commission regarding candidate contributions, which as you can imagine is cumbersome. It was another outstanding year for the NBA BankPAC with total 2018 collections exceeding our goal of $155,000! More than 1,000 bank employees, officers, bank directors and 67 state- chartered member banks or holding companies contributed in 2018. Funds contributed were froma wide range of the member- ship, from the smallest and largest NBA members. Throughout the 2018 campaign cycle, the NBA BankPAC provided support in each of the 24 legislative district races. In addition, BankPAC contributed to candidates seeking state constitutional offices including governor, attorney general, state treasurer and secretary of state. Finally, the NBA Fed- eral BankPAC provided campaign support to Congressmen Smith, Bacon and Fortenberry and Senator Fischer. Many of our politically active NBA members go one step further by providing additional personal and business support to sister- organizations like the ABA’s voter education fund, Friends of Traditional Banking and the NICB PAC. It is fair to say that Nebraska bankers were key financial players in both state and federal elections during 2018! Going forward, I have four requests to further strengthen the NBA’s political and campaign efforts. First, continue to financially support NBA BankPAC. If you have not historically contributed, please consider supporting NBABankPAC as part of your bank’s culture. Similarly, please encourage your employees to get engaged in the BankPAC effort. While NBA BankPAC con- tributions are clearly voluntary, many NBAmember institutions have found fun and creative ways to encourage all employees, officers and directors to offer financial support. Second, term limits are continuing to have a major impact on the philosophy and character of the Nebraska legislature. Finding and supporting strong candidates is a key component of the banking industry’s success. If you have an employee or someone in your region who has an interest in state policy, proactively encourage them to run for elected office. Investigate adjusting their employment position to allow them to serve as a state senator while maintaining a prorated share of work re- sponsibilities. As you might imagine, the current $12,000 state legislative salary significantly limits the number of qualified candidates for the Legislature. Third, as discussed earlier, the NBA’s BankPAC efforts rely upon the direction, leadership and engagement of our member institutions. Your active participation and feedback is important! Please encourage a representative from your bank to volunteer for the BankPAC Committee. Register a team from your bank to attend the NBA State GR Forum scheduled for January 31 in Lincoln. If federal issues aremore to your liking, consider attend- ing or sending members of your staff to the NBA’s Washington D.C. visit scheduled for April 1-3, 2019. Finally, your NBA team does an outstanding job in the gov- ernment relations arena. However, the NBA relies heavily on feedback from local bankers when selecting candidates to sup- port. In future legislative races, please reach out and get to know the candidates in your region. Proactively share your personal knowledge with the NBA’s BankPAC Committee members and NBA staff so we can invest in the best candidates to guide our state’s future! 