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Issue: # 1February 12, 2016
Young Agents Wanted To Go To Washington DC

Two $1,000 Scholarships Available For IIABA Legislative Conference - Apply By February 29

If you're a Young Agent (age 45 or under, or 6 or less years in insurance), and you'd like to join IIAN's officers and hundreds of other agents from across the country for IIABA's annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., April 13-14, 2016,  Fax or e-mail your application for one of two $1,000 scholarships to the IIAN office by February 29, 2016! 


Big "I" Legislative Conference 2016 -
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Each $1,000 scholarship should be sufficient to cover conference registration, air fare, and one night's lodging - and most meals are provided by the Big "I".  Scholarship winners can stay for IIABA's Conference events April 14-15 at their own expense - including a Young Agents party and fundraiser, and a panel of political commentators Tucker Carlson of Fox News and Bob Beckel of CNN!    Click here to download scholarship application.   See conference schedule.

2016 Unicameral Session In Full Swing
IIAN Continues To Push Bill To Remedy Problems With Uninsured Independent Contractors - LB 276
The 2016 Unicameral "short session" started on January 6 - and IIAN Legislative Representative Jim Cavanaugh is there every day, representing Big "I" members' interests until adjournment, tentatively scheduled for April 20, 2016.  Unicameral committee bill hearings are being held in the afternoon until March 3, with floor debate conducted in the morning.  The last day, or "sine die", is scheduled for June 5, 2015.
Out of the 446 new bills introduced this session, IIAN's Legislative committee, chaired by Bob Hoppe of Columbus, is actively watching 19 which impact insurance agents, consumers, or the industry.  "Priority" bills which will be named by senators, committees, and Speaker Glenn Hadley by February 19, stand the best chance of being acted upon this session.  Click here for Jim's Unicameral Update, including a list of upcoming hearings, and IIAN's bill watch list for 2016. 
IIAN's top issue for the 2015-16 legislative session, LB 276, was introduced last year by Business & Labor Committee Chairman Burke Harr of Omaha at IIAN's request, to address the growing problem of independent contractors who do not insure themselves for workers compensation, and the risk that they could be determined to be employees by the WC Court after an injury. 
    After a successful grassroots campaign by IIAN members last spring, LB 276 was advanced to General File (ready for first-round debate) unanimously by members of the Business & Labor Committee, with a  compromise amendment limiting the scope of the bill to construction work.  Since it was not named a "priority" bill last year, LB 276 was "carried over" to the 2016 "short session", and IIAN is working to position it to move forward in 2016 - 10 additional Senators and counting have signed on as co-sponsors.  Click here to read LB 276 as amended; click here to see bill co-sponsors.  Why LB 276 is needed in Nebraska, and what's in the bill as amended. 

Other bills of special interest: 
Unfair Claims Settlement Practice:  IIAN supports LB 740, which would make an unfair claims settlement practice of failure to disclose any marketing survey information used by the insurer in determining the value of a motor vehicle declared a total loss, prior to settlement of the claim.
Homeowners Protection Act:  IIAN is working with interested parties on an amendment to LB 223,
which, as advanced for first-round vote last year, would bar residential contractors from representing a residential real estate owner in any insurance claim, or taking an assignment of any insurance claim relating to repair or replacement of roof systems or other exterior reconstruction work, on residential real estate.  LB 223 is ready for first-round floor vote any day.  A a new companion bill, LB 856, is scheduled for hearing before the Banking, Commerce & Insurance Committee on February 16. 

Check www.iian.org every Monday for Jim Cavanaugh's "Week In Review" report for updated status on all of the bills IIAN is watching - see this week's update here.

IIAN members are encouraged to let us know if there are bills or issues you would like IIAN to address!  Go to www.nebraskalegislature.gov to see the full text and status of any bill.
IIAN Morning at the  Capitol A Big Success
Jan 15 Event Featured Sold-Out Luncheon at the Mansion with Senators
IIAN's inaugural "Morning at the Capitol" event on Friday, January 15, drew over 45 Big "I" members and "Ambassadors" to the Nebraska Capitol to represent IIAN - including 14 agents participating in IIAN's new Innovative Leadership program.
        The event featured a sold-out luncheon at the Governor's Mansion attended by 30 Nebraska senators, along with IIAN members from their districts.  Nebraska Insurance Director Bruce Ramge was the featured speaker, representing the Governor, and Senators Mark Kolterman and Burke Harr also spoke about insurance issues and pending legislation.  Senator Harr announced two new co-sponsors for IIAN's top issue for  20106 - LB 276 - Senators Al Davis and Ken Schilz.
        The luncheon followed an issues briefing by IIAN legislative representative Jim Cavanaugh, 
along with individual meetings in senators' offices resulting in several more commitments to co-sponsor LB 276.  
Interested in getting more involved in Big "I" advocacy?  Click here to find out more about IIAN's Legislative Advisory Council and Ambassadors program.

IIAN President Mike Jones, left, and Legislative Committee Chairman Bob Hoppe, second from right, visit with their senators during the January 15 Big 'I" luncheon at the Governor's mansion.

Workers' Comp - Top 3 Regulatory Issues To Watch In 2016
Each year, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) shares a short assessment of the industry's condition. At the organization's annual meeting last spring, Peter Burton, senior director for state relations, says NCCI's CEO called national workers comp insurance conditions "calm."  
But don't necessarily expect it to last.  "There are some trouble issues ahead," Burton says. "Some topics could come up and really throw a monkey wrench into some of these good numbers."
In particular, medical and regulatory issues may have a dramatic impact on workers comp in 2016. Click here to read about the ones you can't afford to ignore - including opt-out laws, reform attacks on the exclusive remedy concept, and classification of independent contractors.
How To Contact Us

Jim Cavanaugh, Legislative Representative
1-800-342-3352/402-341-2020 Office  402-301-9675 Cell
Carol McClelland, CAE, Chief Executive Officer

1-800-377-3985/402-476-2951 Office  402-432-5113 Cell

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