FlagI’ve got news for you about legislative advocacy: It works. All the proof you’ll ever need was on display April 7, the final day of the Maryland General Assembly’s 2008 session.

Be sure to head on over to our sister blog, Legislative Insider, to read Tom Hood’s take on the action in Annapolis. For now, here’s the Reader’s Digest version:

The CPA profession’s most important bill of the session — House Bill 1296, a mobility bill that would make it easier for CPAs to cross state lines to do business — was being held up in the state Senate’s Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee and was in danger of dying there. But the MACPA — whose members have identified mobility as one of their top priorities — wasn’t about to let that happen. Members of the MACPA’s legislative team urged CPAs to write to members of the committee in search of a favorable vote, and the association’s members answered the call. The bill was voted out of committee with less than nine hours left in the session, and the full Senate passed the bill just prior to the midnight deadline.

Assuming Gov. Martin O’Malley signs the bill into law, Maryland now becomes the 18th state in the nation to enact mobility legislation, joining Illinois, Indiana, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Another 17 states have mobility legislation pending. Those states are Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

Momentum for coast-to-coast mobility is picking up steam, and we’re expecting even more progress in the near future. For the time being, we’re grateful to members of Maryland’s General Assembly for understanding the importance of mobility and offering their support. We’re pround of (and thankful for) the efforts of the hundreds of MACPA members who testified in writing or in person in support of the bill. And for those who aren’t aware of how hard they work, we offer applause to Tom Hood, Mary Beth Halpern and members of the MACPA’s Legislative Executive Committee, who put in a lot of weekend and late-night hours in Annapolis in an effort to push this important bill through.

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