A message from Jerry Durham, President FMO
There have been results of our negotiated settlement with FMHA in Senator Hooper’s office on Thursday. We are extremely grateful for the role he played in bringing us together to improve SB 818 and subsequently HB 1339 with Representative Yarborough. HB 1339 has already been amended to reflect these changes since it will be heard on Monday. Jesse James, Chairman of the Political Advocacy Committee ( formerly the Legislative Committee), Nancy Stewart and I were summoned to Senator Hooper’s office on Thursday to meet with FMHA Lobbyist, Lori Killinger and Executive Director Jim Ayotte.
Frankly we did not have high expectations going into this meeting about the possibility of making changes that would improve the bill. However, as I have been saying over the years, we have the constituency and votes to make a difference. Although I believed our voices were not being heard you all proved me wrong. According to their Lobbyist the (raucous) our people created in the House subcommittee along with Senator Hooper’s commitment made FMHA reconsider some of their positrons and pull others for further negotiations between FMO and FMHA.
Thanks you and all of our members who took the time to make their voices heard. Special thanks to Fred Osier and Representative Sam Killebrew for their respective extra efforts in making contacts. As you will note in the attachment there are significant changes in SB 818 and HB 1339 as a result of this initiative. Politics also played a role here. The Senators who first heard SB 818 were mostly termed out and had no incentive to take up our cause. The House committee however, had both many mobile home constituents and will be up for reelection.
We dodged a bullet here but we must increase our political advocacy. Including a voter registration drive, meeting the potential candidates and supporting those who will fight for us. Thank you again and I will send to our membership on Monday.