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Message from the President
April 28, 2017 President’s Message
Many thanks to Montana’s bankers for your engagement during the Legislative session.. The 65th Montana Legislative Session adjourned April 28, 2017, after 88 legislative days. The state’s revenue slow down influenced the Legislature’s appetite for increased spending. And, the session ended without legislative approval for some major and controversial spending bills including the broad-based infrastructure and renewable resource bonding and loan bills and the long sought after funding for the Montana Heritage Center. The session finished with a patchwork of increased revenue enhancements (taxes), including a $13 million “community benefit fee,” paid by our largest hospitals, a modest gas tax increase, the first in 20+years, and a variety of other “fee” increases - which we will describe in our final Legislative Wrap Up. There are still 268 bills waiting for the governor’s action and it is likely there will be more spending cuts. Now, our advocacy efforts need to focus on the federal financial reg reform process. It is picking up steam with May’s House Financial Services hearing on the CHOICE Act, a broad reform bill “tailoring” the financial regulatory framework. MBA joined the nation’s state bankers associations in a letter “applauding” the introduction of the Choice Act as an important step for the much needed Congressional action to pass over due reg reforms. So, let’s keep the momentum going to get reg reform passed and signed into law in this Congressional session!