The KBPAC supports legislators and others who have supported the banking industry. That helps the banking industry stay strong. Some of the changes that have been made in the last decade have attempted to push banking into formula-type services, without regard to the needs of individuals in various communities. Formula-type services reduces the need for bankers and allows reliance on automation to the detriment of employees and customers. By supporting like-minded individuals, KBPAC helps us keep some of the best jobs in the country!
Pretty much everyone has heard “PACs” discussed in the news, but not everyone knows what they are, what they do or why they are important. Usually, when you read a news article about PACs, the emphasis is on corruption, wealth or legal issues. It is hard for the average reader (someone whose life does not revolve around politics) to understand why a PAC, let alone the KBPAC matters in his or her life. Let me see if I can help with that.
- Let’s start with the acronym. PAC stands for “political action committee.” A political action committee is a highly regulated tool which allows groups of like-minded individuals (and in some very limited instances, corporations) to join their $$ together for common political goals. Depending on the structure of the PAC, it can be regulated by the state and/or federal agency in charge of PACs. In our case, KBPAC is established by the Kentucky Bankers Association for bank employees to gather our $$ together to support state and federal legislators and other key political office holders who support banking issues.
- KBPAC cannot accept corporate contributions. Because the KBPAC cannot accept corporate funds, we have to rely on bank employees in our mission. That is why you may be asked, on occasion, to participate in a KBPAC fundraiser. Your employer cannot mandate that you participate, nor can retribution be imposed for your failure to participate. So, why would any hard-working bank employee want to participate? The answer is simple…to help seek legislation that works in favor of Kentucky’s banking industry—the industry you have chosen for your career.
- Every little bit helps. KBPAC can gather the $$ from each contributing bank employee and use it to the best advantage of our industry. Alone, one employee’s contribution may not seem significant, but together we can make an impact.
- KBPAC is less interested in party affiliation than it is with industry support. KBPAC does not limit its contributions to one political party. The KBPAC committee looks at the voting record/position of the candidates and office holders to determine how our hard earned $$ can be best used. PAC contributions are public record and when you look up KBPAC, you will see that this is true.
- KBPAC contributions do not guarantee that a candidate will vote our way—that is against the law. But it does mean that we are doing all we can to help legislators who understand our issues stay in office. This should be important to each and every person who has chosen banking as their preferred career. Banks are the cornerstones of our communities. In the past, banks have been the most respected businesses in the communities and bankers the most sought-after advisors on a variety of issues by customers and non-customers alike. That has changed due to no fault of ours. We have to stand strong to make sure legislators understand our side of the story. KBPAC gives us the tools, and the opportunity, to protect bankers, banks and our communities.
- KBPAC participation works! We work hard in Washington and Frankfort reviewing and lobbying for and against bills on the basis of their potential impact on the banking industry. Last year we worked very hard on regulatory reform in Washington DC, with Congressman Andy Barr. Reform from the shackles of the Dodd Frank Act were absolutely necessary. We worked with our delegates in Washington to ensure that they understood how important that was and we were successful. Currently, we are working on the inequitable taxing structure Kentucky has imposed on banks. Banks must pay a Bank Franchise Tax instead of the corporate tax that other businesses pay. Under our tax we must pay state taxes based upon a bank’s capital, regardless of whether the bank is profitable that year. Required increases in bank capital means increased taxes, in good years and in bad. That puts Kentucky’s banks at risk. KBPAC support gives us the tools we need to work against this inequity and helps keep your jobs secure.
Alone, we may not be able to make even a negligible impact on the future of banking and the legislation impacting the banking industry. Together, however, our pennies become dollars and the impact grows exponentially. Consider this example…in 2018 just over one thousand Kentucky bank employees donated to KBPAC. Kentucky banks employ more than 22,000 people. If each person had contributed just $10, we would have raised $220,000 in one year. This is why PACs are so helpful! This is why we need you support!
KBA General Counsel and EVP