Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd (D) was presented with the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America’s 2002 Gerald Solomon Legislator of the Year Award during the Association’s 27th Annual National Legislative Conference.
IIABA Senior VP of Federal Government Affairs Maria L. Berthoud presented the prestigious honor to Dodd, noting that his legislative efforts last year were the primary Senate influence behind passage of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, and could not have come at a more critical time for the insurance industry and independent agency system.
“Through his proactive involvement in the legislation’s stop-and-go journey through Capitol Hill, Sen. Dodd once again distinguished himself as a dynamic and effective legislative leader,” Berthoud stated. “He is a resilient and outspoken champion for independent insurance agents and brokers in Connecticut and throughout our country on a wide range of insurance and small business issues vital to their livelihoods.”
She praised Dodd as “a pragmatist who recognizes that bipartisanship and compromise are important ingredients if legislation that benefits the American people is to be approved by the essentially even-split Congress. He displayed his tremendous political skill when a federal backstop for terrorism insurance became an absolute necessity. He spent countless hours persevering in an extremely difficult environment to make the legislation, which faced many uncertain times, a reality.
“IIABA worked closely with Sen. Dodd on the terrorism insurance issue. He never lost faith in the legislation and answered the call on several occasions when prospects for bill passage appeared dim,” Berthoud continued. “Independent agents and brokers are grateful for his efforts and are pleased to recognize Sen. Dodd as the most important legislator in 2002.”
The IIABA award is named “as a tribute to 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,” the bulletin noted.
“Dodd is a senior Democratic member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee and is currently serving his fourth Senate term. He was elected to Congress in 1974 and represented Connecticut’s Second Congressional District for three terms in the House of Representatives before winning election to the Senate in 1980. He is the first Connecticut senator elected to four terms,” said the announcement.
“Connecticut is a big insurance state and Sen. Dodd has a large number of independent agents and brokers among his constituency,” Berthoud explained. “However, his support transcends state lines and benefits independent agents and brokers nationwide. Sen. Dodd is an unwavering and outspoken proponent of numerous insurance and small business issues. He advocates a competitive and productive business climate that enables small businesses to continue their role as the lifeblood of the American economy.”
She called the Senator “a ‘champion’ of independent agents and brokers…in the true sense of the word to so many people.” Dodd is the ninth IIABA Legislator of the Year honoree. Last year’s honoree was House Financial Services Committee Chairman Mike Oxley (R-Ohio).
“While we are honoring Sen. Dodd, the honor is truly ours that we can call such a distinguished and highly regarded leader our legislator of the year,” Berthoud concluded.
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