NAIFA Leadership has just completed a “blitz” of New York’s state capitol, wrapping up a series of meetings with state legislative leaders and officers of New York’s life insurance company trade association, the Life Insurance Council of New York. The developing 2016 NAIFA—NYS legislative agenda, the Health Republic debacle, and other issues of importance to the life insurance agent and advisor community were discussed over the four-day swing.

The week started off with legislative visits to the four chairs and ranking members of the legislative insurance committees. Senator Jim Seward and Assemblyman Kevin Cahill welcomed a delegation of NAIFA—NYS officers, including president Larry Holzberg, national committeeman Don Damick and immediate past president Bob Gruber, joined by executive director Greg Serio, deputy executive director Candace Thorson and legislative director Mark Yavornitzki, and discussed the association’s resolution opposing implementation of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, the state’s plans for addressing the Health Republic insolvency and possible amendment of insurance law section 4228, among other things. Meetings with the respective ranking minority members, Senator Neil Breslin and Assemblyman Will Barclay, were also held.

The NAIFA—NYS board met in Albany as well, and welcomed LICONY CEO Tom Workman to address the board. Maintaining good relations and open communications with LICONY and its members—even when we disagree on positions—are crucial components of the association’s work. In December, the board was addressed by New York Department of Financial Services deputy superintendent for life insurance James Regalbuto, and the board has established a practice to commence board meetings with exchanges with important stakeholders, partners and persons of interest to the profession. Workman laid out the LICONY legislative and regulatory program for 2016, and promising openings for revisiting section 4228 were discussed.

The action moved south mid-week to New York City for the LICONY annual legislative and regulatory program. In a kind of home-and-home courtesy, President Holzberg was invited to address the LICONY Legislative and Regulatory Committee, and raised the DOL fiduciary standard, long term care insurance reform, and updating of Regulations 60 and 74 is primary concerns of NAIFA—NYS. The day was concluded with an opportunity to again meet with legislative leaders, including Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, and top DFS leadership.

Throughout the week, it was recognized and commented that NAIFA—NYS has returned to the legislative and regulatory fields of play with significant new energy and focus. Board members and officers have been highly motivated and engaged behind the leadership of President Holzberg to drive a return of NAIFA—NYS’ historic prominence in the public discussions on those matters of greatest concern to the life insurance producer and financial advisor.