Legislative Update for March 2013

CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC)

The CUNA GAC shed new light last week on the credit union movement’s national priorities, with President and CEO Bill Cheney unveiling the national association’s new “Unite to Win” vision and advocates from around the country meeting with their legislators to discuss supplemental capital and member business lending.

Read more about the MBL and supplemental capital bills introduced in Congress this year, along with on-the-ground coverage of the GAC:

Credit Unions in Congress

Bills have been introduced in the House of Representatives that would give credit unions access to supplemental capital and more than double the member business lending (MBL) cap. Several of Oregon and Washington’s elected officials were appointed to significant committee posts this year as well, which could prove important for credit unions as Congress considers credit union legislation, comprehensive tax reform and significant budget issues. Read more:

Oregon State Legislature

Even as credit union-friendly legislation moves through the State Legislature, Oregon bankers have begun to wage a coordinated attack on the state’s credit unions, working to blur public perception of the distinction between for-profit banks and not-for-profit financial cooperatives in an effort to undermine the credit union tax exemption. Read more:

Washington State Legislature

Two companion bills sponsored by the NWCUA have breezed through their houses of origin this year. HB 1582 passed the House by a 96-0 vote in March, and SB 5302 unanimously passed the Senate in late February. Both would impact credit union governance and investments, most notably by allowing board and supervisory committee members to be provided with “reasonable compensation.” Read more about the bill’s progress and implications:

Tax Reform

Congress is taking a hard look at tax policies and procedures this year, and while no mention of the credit union tax exemption has yet been made, credit unions are continuously monitoring the situation at the federal and state levels. Read more:

Financial Reality Fairs

A fast-growing tool for providing financial education to young people has also proven to be an effective way to give legislators a first-hand look at the credit union difference. Read more about this convergence of advocacy and community outreach:

Regulatory Advocacy Update

The NWCUA remains vigilant on the regulatory front, working closely with regulators, government agencies and legislators to monitor and ease the regulatory burden. Read the following reports for a detailed account of our recent activity:

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Low-Income Credit Union Designation

Through a partnership between the NCUA and NASCUS, the simplified opt-in process for receiving the low-income credit union (LICU) designation extended last year to federally chartered credit unions is now available to state-chartered credit unions as well. For more details, read this full report.

Advocates on the Move

Credit union advocates are participating at every level of our political advocacy process. By demonstrating our interest in campaigns and elections, credit union professionals, volunteers and members can make sure that candidates understand our issues and structure and gain an appreciation of the political abilities of the credit union movement. Even in races in which the credit union-supported loses the election, we have still made important progress, as credit unions will have further established their reputation for being actively involved in the political process. We must be seen as an active, viable, and important constituency.

Here is some of the most recent activity:

 

Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team:

Jennifer Wagner, Vice President of Legislative Advocacy
Mark Minickiello, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Pam Leavitt, Policy Advisor

Posted in Compliance, Compliance News.