November 22, 2016
Nebraska, U.S. Elections Not Short Of Excitement
IIANPAC Bats 700, InsurPac 950
On top of a history-making race for our country's President, November 8 proved to be exciting for candidates running for the Nebraska Unicameral. IIAN endorsed candidates in 23 of the 25 races -- 16 won and 7 lost for a Big "I" success rate of 70%.  Races were close for the seven IIAN-endorsed candidates who did not win, including five agent-friendly incumbents-- there was back and forth action all night as the polls closed and votes were counted.  
     This is the largest freshman class in modern history.   Of the 25 Legislative races decided on Tuesday, only 8 resulted in an incumbent winning, while 17 seats will be filled by freshmen. 
Of the 13 incumbents running for re-election, 8 won and 5 lost.  The party registration went from 36 Republicans, 12 Democrats and 1 Independent to 33 Republicans, 15 Democrats and 1 Independent.  On balance, the body may tend to be slightly more conservative, with outgoing Speaker Galen Hadley predicting more "gridlock" in 2017 in the Lincoln-Journal Star.
And there may be a "rules" showdown on the first day of the Unicameral session - read more.

      There were also several surprising results at the national level, with incumbent Congressman Brad Ashford being unseated by newcomer Don Bacon.  Read national post election coverage by IIABA's vice president of political affairs.   InsurPac, our National Big "I" political action committee, distributed more campaign money this election cycle than ever before -a total of $2,147,000 - to the campaigns of U.S. senators, representatives and candidates for federal office. InsurPac supported 280 races, winning 266 of them for a 95% victory rate.  

How Will the Election Results Impact Agent Issues In Washington?

The outcome of the 2016 election has created a significant shift in power in Washington, D.C., with the prospect of major legislation impacting independent insurance agents in the years to come. The Big "I" national government affairs team expects:
  • Repealing (at least part of) the Affordable Care Act. The Big "I" will continue to guard against harmful changes to the employer-sponsored health care system in ACA replacement legislation.
  • Reforming our tax system. The Big "I" will continue to push to reform the tax code in a way that provides relief for small businesses.
  • Addressing newly passed regulations like the Department of Labor (DOL) overtime rule and fiduciary rule. The Big "I" will continue advocating for adjustments to both DOL rules.
  • Increasing the use of the private market in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The Big "I" believes the private market has a role to play as a complement to the program-not a replacement - as well as a timely reauthorization of the NFIP.

Barring eleventh-hour legislative or legal action, the Department of Labor's (DOL) new rule on overtime pay will take effect on December 1. Independent insurance agencies need to be  prepared and informed to avoid potential legal liability.
The new overtime rule requires employers to pay overtime to many employees who were not previously legally entitled to it. Starting Dec. 1, the rule raises by 100%-from $23,660 to $47,476-the monetary threshold at which workers can qualify for an administrative, executive, professional or computer "white-collar" exemption, meaning they do not require overtime pay.

To help prepare for the rule, refer to the members-only webpage of  compliance resources (to view, log in with your Big "I" user id and password - call IIAN for help 1-800-377-3985).  It  includes a detailed Q&A document, a 30-minute webinar presentation and sample job descriptions, among other resources. 
See short video update for the latest and what you need to do before December 1.
Read detailed guidance from IIABA legal experts.

Read more - including links to Big "I" legal and legislative action to stop the rule.   
Government Official Says Trump Can't Easily Erase Overtime Rule
Bloomberg BNA reports that Wage and Hour Division Administrator David Weil says "employers should be ready for the overtime rule to take effect Dec. 1, regardless of what may happen under President-elect Donald Trump."  Weil told Bloomberg BNA that "Weil cautioned employers against holding out hope for it to be quickly repealed" under the incoming Trump administration.  Weil said: "There is no stroke-of-the pen ability of any president to simply erase a rule. If they wish to change the rule, they're going to have to go through rule making, and part of the rulemaking is to justify what has changed since the last rule making to require a fundamental shift in the rule and our application of the statute."  

January 25, 2017 - Capitol Building, Lincoln
Issues Briefing - Lunch With Senators At The Mansion
Register Today - Space Is Limited!
Independent Insurance Agents of Nebraska
(402) 476-2951