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Thought Leadership Thursday

NAST Advocacy in 2021

Scott Fitzpatrick

Thought Leadership Thursday Article

NAST Advocacy in 2021
February 18, 2021
Scott Fitzpatrick
State Treasurer
Missouri
Dear Colleagues:

In some ways, it is hard to believe that a year has passed since we last convened in Washington, D.C. as a NAST family, and in other ways, not so much. Throughout the pandemic we have all responded agilely to the challenges of 2020—switching to remote operations, tracking down answers to the numerous questions that arose from COVID-19, and creating a virtual environment for our community to continue meeting.

Last year, NAST set an ambitious advocacy agenda around our core priorities as State Treasurers. We continue to advocate for:

  • Raising the eligible age for ABLE accounts from onset of disability at age 26 to 46;
  • Bringing back tax-exempt advance refunding bonds;
  • Enabling more families to save through 529 college savings accounts; and
  • Helping state unclaimed property administrators reunite residents with their unclaimed federal savings bonds.

While in many ways the COVID-19 pandemic upended some of our plans, we nonetheless remained committed to our core priorities while keeping our state finances running through a dual health and economic crisis.

In just a few days, we will convene again, albeit virtually, for our 2021 Legislative Conference. On Monday, we will hear about the makeup and priorities of the new Congress, the new Administration, and a general outlook on Washington, D.C. Tuesday will be dedicated to discussions around infrastructure and municipal bonds. On Wednesday, we will receive legislative updates on 529 college savings plans and ABLE accounts. And finally, we’ll round out the week on Thursday with a general NAST Legislative Update. Above all else, we will have the opportunity to hear about what the world of advocacy will look like in 2021.

I urge you to make appointments to meet virtually with your members of Congress after these briefings. NAST is encouraging Treasurers to meet with your state delegation throughout the month of March to share your state’s and NAST priorities with the new Congress.

Fun Fact: Did you know that Missouri has the fourth largest delegation support for the ABLE Age Adjustment Act? We do—behind California, New York, and Pennsylvania, states with many more Congressional Members. I hope you will join me in advocating support for important legislation that helps us better serve our constituents.

Contact information for members of the House of Representatives can be found here and Senate contact information can be found here. We’ve also updated our advocacy primer for the 117th Congress.

Next week, we will continue our mantra that when State Treasurers speak, federal decisionmakers listen. If you haven’t registered for the conference, it’s not too late and it's free for members!

As your 2021 Legislative Chair, I look forward to “seeing” you all next week.

Scott Fitzpatrick, Treasurer
State of Missouri

 

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