They say it is a thousand times easier to kill a bill than pass a bill.
That makes this year extra special as Governor O'Malley signed two CPA bills into law last week and we successfully stopped three other “bad bills” from impacting Maryland CPAs. That is 5 for 5 on our main agenda and there were a few more successes in addition.
The two bills are SB370 / HB328 – the Safe Harbor bill that eliminates reviews for non-CPAs and provides a safe harbor report for compilations by non-licensed accountants; and SB287 the CPA Exam requirements bill that allows CPAs to sit for the exam at 120 hours and complete licensure after the 150 hour requirements are met.
How did we do it?
Perseverance, teamwork, and the power of “we”.
1) Perseverance – in the picture second row, far right is Christine Stewart, Past-Chair of MACPA. Christine and our Board had the “safe harbor” issue on her agenda in 1999 and we never lost sight of it until this bill SB 370 / HB 328 was signed into law here. Next in from Chris is Tami Bensky, Past-Chair also involved in keeping this issue on our agenda. Twelve years (12) not taking our eye off the ball.
2) Teamwork – starting with the strategy from our legislative executive committee under Allen DeLeon's leadership, this issue involved Mike Manspeaker, our Peer Review Committee, Carol Kirwan, retired former head of our Technical Services and Legislative Affairs, Mary Beth Halpern our current Manager of Technical Services & Legislative Affairs, several members of the State Board of Public Accountancy, all of our PAC trustees and members who contributed to our PAC, and Delegate Brian Feldman who sponsored this legislation and got us started.
3) The Power of We! Of course the record turnout at CPA Day underscores the old adage that there is strength in numbers!
Check out our photos here and here and here and videos here, and here.
Thanks to all of you who helped us have one of the most successful legislative sessions in our 110 year history!
Come to our reception for New CPAs and get your photos taken and recognized for a great year of accomplishments!
All CPAs who attended CPA Day and helped with legislative contacts are invited to be recognized along with all newly licensed CPAs at the Maryland CPA Summit and Swearing-in Ceremony on June 2. The 2011 CPA Summit is scheduled for June 3.