Government Relations Report Issue 33

Fall 1999 CSANews Issue 33  |  Posted date : Mar 03, 2007.Back to list

The CSA Goes to Washington

On January 6, 1999, the Retiree Visa Act of 1999 was referred to the U.S. Committee of the Judiciary and subsequently referred to the subcommittee on Immigration and Claims. This subcommittee has tremendous power involving the passage of the bill and, thankfully for us, our supporter Congressman McCollum of the state of Florida is a prominent member of this subcommittee, which is also controlled by his fellow Republicans.

The CSA believes that the timing is right to intensify our lobbying efforts involving passage of the bill, since we can maximize our influence on the subcommittee with Congressman McCollum's presence and influence.

At our recent CSA board of directors meeting, a resolution was passed authorizing that further action be taken in support of the Retiree Visa Act of 1999. Your directors believe that the likelihood of the bill being passed has never been greater, and a dedicated and focused effort by the CSA will help to see it succeed.

To that end, CSA legal counsel, Wallace Weylie and a representative from the CSA will be 'going to Washington,' as they say, as representatives to meet with Congressman McCollum sometime in the late fall.

The purpose of Congressman McCollum's meeting with the CSA is to discuss the procedures involving passage of the bill and the CSA's lobbying activities that can help to facilitate its passage. While in Washington, the CSA representatives intend to lobby various congressional members and have them "sign onto the bill.'

The CSA believes that this bill represents a win-win situation for CSA members and those states which snowbirds visit. CSA members can enjoy the benefits of an extended stay in the United States, while the individual states (i.e. Florida) will be enjoying increased tax revenues and stimulation to the local economy by additional purchases of goods and services by CSA members.

In addition, individual states do not have to worry about CSA members becoming a burden on their health-care system, taking jobs from Americans, or having insufficient income to support themselves, since the requirements under the bill have directly addressed these situations.

Specifically, eligibility requirements under the bill involve the following: (a) one party must be at least 55 years of age; (b) must own, or be the spouse of someone who owns a residence in the United States; (c) must have a health insurance plan; (d) must agree not to work in the United States; and (e) must have, or be the spouse of someone who has an annual gross income of at least two times the official poverty line.

We are confident that our lobbying efforts will succeed since, like all things, it is a matter of education, and the CSA hopes to directly lobby those influential and required members of Congress who are needed to sign onto, and pass the bill.

Keep reading your Government Relations Report in upcoming issues of CSA News for updates of our efforts.

Manitoba Election Results – NDP Victory
Manitoba's 37th general election was held on September 21, 1999, with the NDP claiming victory. The results gave Gary Doer's NDP party 32 seats with 44.82 per cent of votes cast, the PCs 24 seats with 40.58 per cent of votes cast and the Liberals one seat with 13.31 per cent of votes cast.

On October 5, 1999, Premier Gary Doer and 14 Manitoba New Democratic MLAs were sworn into office as members of the new administration's Executive Council. One of the new MLAs is David Chomiak (MLA for Kildonan), who is the new provincial Minister of Health.

Mr. Chomiak was formerly the NDP health critic, when the PCs were in power under former premier, Gary Filmon, and he comes with some experience to the job.

The CSA intends to continue our lobbying efforts with the new NDP administration in Manitoba, and will keep you abreast of our efforts in future issues of this report.