Just one week to Christmas as I write this brief article. I hope and pray that you and your family have a Merry Christmas. At this time of year as bankers we are very busy from family and community to all the things happening in our banks; finalizing budgets for 201 7, working through ag renewals; closing the books on 2016 and anticipating new projects and pushes for the coming year. I hope we all take the time to remember the reason for the season and to spend quality time with family and friends.
I believe 2016 was a great year for community banking in South Dakota. As we look forward to 2017 we need to remember while we are responsible for our own success there is strength in working together through ICBSD and ICBA. As the administration changes in Washington we all need to keep our status as Community Bankers at the forefront of regulatory changes that are anticipated in D.C. We have made several strides toward tiered regulation and we need to continue to remind regulators and Congress that there is a difference between Community Banks and the mega banks.
Personally, 2017 will be my first year in the South Dakota House of Representatives. I have been assigned to the Appropriations Committee. I am looking forward to getting to know a lot more about every part of state government. The Joint Appropriations Committee gets a head start by meeting for three days prior to the session, January 3rd, 4th, and 9th. The first day of Legislature in January 10th. I hope to see you all in Pierre. My state email is Hugh.Bartels@sdlegislature.gov.