Two new but familiar faces will be walking the halls of the Indiana Statehouse this year on behalf of ISAHU and members like you. Caryl Auslander and her father, David Berman, will be working as legislative liaisons. Caryl’s firm, Torchbearer Public Affairs, is now our official lobbyist of record. The decision to hire them was decided in a June board meeting.
Neither Caryl nor David are strangers to many of us. David has been a fixture in ISAHU for decades. And Caryl has spent years working for the Indiana Chamber and other lobbying firms for more than a decade before that.
This year’s legislative session is likely to look different because of COVID-19. Dave, Caryl, and all of our legislative efforts are likely to be much more virtual. One idea that is expected to gain traction is to move the legislators into the Indiana Convention Center temporarily for larger space and social distancing.
However the session looks this year, we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Torchbearer. They’ll be working closely with our 2020-2021 Legislative Chair, Susan Rider. Susan has also talked about issues she’s closely monitoring this session.
A significant part of ISAHU member dues goes to lobbying and monitoring policy and legislation at the state and local level. Indiana has historically enjoyed relatively stable insurance policies and regulations. Last year, however, saw the rise of SEA 5 and SEA 184, two bills that caught us slightly off guard. David Berman, however, was among the first to identify the impact of these bills. He’s written about SEA 184, “The Indiana Farm Bureau Bill”, this month. SEA 5 didn’t make it off the House floor last year, but it’s expected to return this year.
We’ve never had a more focused, dedicated, and loyal group of legislative experts watching the Statehouse. Their work meeting with legislators means critical parts of our day-to-day work and careers, like agent commissions, don’t get adversely affected.
It’s worth noting that ISAHU is formally, officially, and emphatically a non-partisan organization. Our work with legislators requires it, but more importantly, we think it’s just good for members, us, and the insurance industry.
Caryl and David know this, too, and are well respected on both sides of the aisle. Expect more detail and updates on the status of bills as study committees begin making recommendations.
The Indiana legislature will reconvene in January for a “long” budget session.
Listed below is the “Scope of Work” as described in our new contract with Torchbearer.
Torchbearer Public Affairs (TPA) will serve as “eyes and ears” at the statehouse. With a constant presence in the building, TPA can monitor hearings, track legislation, help prioritize bills, schedule meetings with legislators and provide direct communication with staff on all important happenings before the General Assembly.
Representation includes a weekly report during session to provide staff with a bill tracking list tailored to priorities with information regarding the happenings of the session that week.
TPA can draft testimony and coordinate efforts for all priority bills and can testify, if needed, on any bills. Similarly, TPA can provide support to staff and/or board members that wish to testify before committees.
TPA will schedule individualized meetings with legislators and staff and prepare any materials (one-pagers, talking points, etc.) needed for the meetings.
TPA is also prepared to attend coalition meetings as a representative, if needed.
TPA is available for board meetings to provide legislative updates – whether in-person or in written format.
TPA can work outside of legislative session to help draft policy agendas for future legislative sessions. TPA can assist in priority-setting of these policies and move to help implement them legislatively in future sessions.
In addition to weekly updates during session, TPA will provide monthly updates during non- session months. TPA is also available to draft content for other informational or marketing materials.
In addition, TPA can provide legislative briefings (either in-person or in-writing) before members, committees, or at other events.
Local Chapter Engagement
TPA will attend at least one meeting of ISAHU local chapters over the first year of engagement.
Lobby Commission Reporting
TPA will assume the responsibilities of registering ISAHU with the Indiana Lobby Registration Commission and do all of the activity reporting. Please note that any registration fees will be the responsibility of ISAHU.