Ky.’s Bunning Named 2003 IIABA Legislator of the Year

April 22, 2004

U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) was presented the 2003 Gerald Solomon Legislator of the Year Award by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) during the Association’s 28th annual National Legislative Conference.

IIABA CEO Robert A. Rusbuldt presented the prestigious honor to Bunning, noting that his legislative efforts last year and throughout his tenure in the Senate have been highly helpful to independent agents and brokers and all small business owners throughout the country.

“Through his hands-on involvement in the issues that affect our industry and main street America, Sen. Bunning has distinguished himself as a dynamic and effective legislative leader,” Rusbuldt said. “He has been a committed and outspoken advocate for independent insurance agents and brokers and small business owners in Kentucky and throughout our country on a wide range of insurance and small business issues vital to their livelihoods.”

In 2003, Bunning joined with Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) to introduce S. 1371, which would amend Section 197 of the Internal Revenue Code to allow the write-off of the first $5 million of intangible assets in the year of purchase, with the remainder to be depreciated ratably over 14 years. IIABA strongly supports this vital legislation because business experience shows that an intangible asset, such as a customer list, has a shelf life of just five years. Through a quicker depreciation schedule, Main Street service-oriented businesses will have more cash to reinvest in their operations.

“Sen. Bunning’s work with IIABA on this important legislation is of tremendous importance to our members,” Rusbuldt said. “It is just another example of his continued, steadfast support for independent insurance agents and brokers and small businesses, and that is why we are honoring him with this prestigious award.”

The IIABA honor is named as a tribute to the late Congressman Gerald Solomon (R-N.Y.), the former House Rules Committee chairman and Big “I” member who championed independent agent and broker legislative concerns during his 20 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Bunning, a first-term senator up for reelection this year, is a member of the Senate Finance Committee-the first Kentuckian in nearly 40 years to serve on this powerful committee. He was elected to Congress in 1986 and represented Kentucky’s Fourth Congressional District for six terms in the House of Representatives before winning election to the Senate in 1998.

In addition to his efforts on tax treatment of intangible assets, Bunning also is working on the reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, and he has consistently supported common-sense reforms on medical liability, class action and asbestos litigation, as well as insurance regulation.

“The senator’s proven record of support for independent insurance agents and brokers shows him to be a true champion for our 300,000 members, Main Street America, and the small businesses of Kentucky,” Rusbuldt said. “We present this well-deserved award to Senator Bunning with true gratitude, and we look forward to continuing our excellent working relationship with him as he continues to advocate for the backbone of the economy in America and Kentucky-small businesses, including independent insurance agencies.”

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