Washington State GAC Draws More Than 120

The Northwest Credit Union Association’s (NWCUA) Washington Government Affairs Conference (GAC) drew more than 120 participants from around the region last week to learn about new legislation and lobby the state legislature on credit union supported bills.

After being given a briefing by NWCUA’s Washington legislative team of SVP Stacy Augustine and VP Mark Minickiello on Thursday, Jan. 27, attendees made their way to the capitol campus to discuss with lawmakers several pieces of legislation, including House Bill 1327, a public funds proposal that will accomplish two primary goals:

  • Increase the maximum public deposit to the insurance minimum of $250,000;
  • Allow agencies or other public entities to deposit funds in credit unions with a federal charter.

A second piece of major legislation discussed was Senate Bill 5232, a proposal encouraging consumers to save for the short term by allow financial institutions to offer prizes as incentives. This prize linked savings legislation and last week’s lobbying effort in Olympia was covered by the Associated Press in a story headlined, Prizes for thriftiness? WA eyes savings lotteries. The story was picked up by more than 35 outlets across the country.

In addition to Northwest credit union leaders, a group of under-30-year-old crashers also attended the GAC. Led by Industrial Credit Union marketer Matt Vance, the group of about 10 young professionals learned how to discuss important credit union issues with elected and then practiced by going on visits to legislative offices.

The Washington GAC concluded on Friday with a regulatory affairs meeting with officials from both Oregon and Washington and a regulatory affairs forum with Association staff.

NWCUA & Washington regulatorsAbove, the 2011 WGAC Crashers pause briefly for a photo in front of the Washington state Capitol.

At left, NWCUA President Troy Stang takes notes while Washinton State Department of Financial Institutions Director Scott Jarvis, along with Credit Union Division Director Linda Jekel answer questions during the final day of the WGAC.

In discussing the financial state of the state and the circumstances that led to it, Washington Department of Financial Institutions Director Scott Jarvis said about people who began to defraud people on their mortgages, “When everything tanked the bad guys moved in; kind of like the first flies that show up at a corpse.”

According to him, 22 people have been prosecuted for mortgage fraud in Washington with more in the pipeline.

The final session saw a panel of Association staff discussing regulatory and legislative issues with attendees, including cutoff dates for comments and what to expect at the CUNA GAC coming up February 27 – March 3.

Posted in Advocacy News, Compliance News, Events, NWCUA.