Washington Legislative Week in Review: Bill Addresses Credit Union Mergers

Washington’s politically divided Legislature returned to the state Capitol in Olympia on Monday, kicking off a 60-day session that is expected to tackle everything from education funding and transportation to gun control and marijuana.

With an election looming, though, it’s not clear whether legislators will be able to reach agreement on any of the key issues. The 2014 regular session is scheduled to end on Thursday, March 13.

Mark Minickiello, the Northwest Credit Union Association’s vice president for legislative affairs, says the Association will be paying particular attention to several pieces of legislation, including:

  • The formation of a state bank to hold marijuana money;
  • Changes to the Foreclosure Fairness Act (FFA);
  • A bill from the Department of Labor & Industries on unpaid wages; and
  • An AARP-sponsored bill on state-run retirement products for low-income workers.

On Tuesday, a bill initiated by the NWCUA to clarify the voting requirement for members of merging credit unions got its first hearing before the House Business & Financial Services Committee. House Bill 2140, sponsored by state Rep. Cindy Ryu (D-32), would change the voting requirement for those members from two-thirds to a simple majority.

Legislation approved last year changed the voting requirement for merging credit unions’ boards of directors to a simple majority, but the requirement for voting by members was mistakenly left unchanged. House Bill 2140 would give state-chartered credit unions parity with the Federal Credit Union Act for both the boards of directors and members of merging credit unions.

Tuesday’s hearing was uneventful, Minickiello says. Lawmakers asked about the number of credit unions that have merged and for the reasons behind mergers; both questions were answered by Doug Lacy-Roberts, program manager for the state DFI’s Division of Credit Unions.

A hearing for the Senate version of the bill, SB 6029 sponsored by Sens. Don Benton (R-17) and Steve Hobbs (D-44), is likely to be scheduled for next week, Minickiello says.

 

Mark Minickiello will report from Olympia each week that the Washington Legislature is in session; look for his “Washington Legislative Week in Review” every Tuesday in Anthem. For more information, contact Minickiello at mminickiello@nwcua.org or 206.340.4812.

 

Questions? Contact Gary Stein: 503.350.2216, gstein@nwcua.org

Posted in Advocacy News.