Friday, February 20, 2009

Checking in with Senator Snowe's Small Business Staff ...

On February 18th, MAR Lobbyist Linda Gifford, REALTORS Sherry Gregory, Gail Rizzo, Wayne Syphers, and MAR Government Affairs Director Chris Philbrook met with Senator Olympia Snowe's Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship staff, of which the Senator is Ranking Member.

Matthew Berger, Economist and Press Secretary, Kathleen Black, Tax and Finance Advisor, Wally Hsueh, Staff Director, and Meredith West, Professional Staff Member represented Senator Snowe. Linda Gifford stressed the importance of "final decisions" from Washington saying, "Buyers are waiting on the sidelines because they hear a different message out of Washington each week." The tax credit is a step in the right direction. Snowe's staff acknowledged that confidence in the economy and market place are essential to fixing the housing crises.

REALTORS Gail Rizzo, Wayne Syphers, and Sherry Gregory updated about home lending, the foreclosure process in Maine and overall market trends.

Our final topic of discussion was health care. Senator Snowe's staff said the SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) bill is still in play, to the delight of MAR representatives. Snowe's staff believes health care reform is a primary goal of President Obama and will be debated and passed during this Congress.

REALTOR Wayne Syphers, Chairman of the MAR Legislative Committee relays, "I believe we participated in a very serious dialog with Senator Snowe's staff, who understand the issues important to MAR. They articulated Senator Snowe's support of the stimulus package as believing it's in the best interest of the people in Maine and the nation, along with President Obama's acknowledgement of the need to fix the housing and mortgage markets."