Oregon Legislative Session Preview

By Pam Leavitt, NWCUA Policy Advisor

The 78th Assembly of the Oregon State Legislature began its work on Monday after its ceremonial swearing in several weeks ago. The NWCUA is tracking the happenings closely and pursuing Northwest credit union legislative agenda.

The $18.5 billion budget will take most of the session to review and debate along with several other major issues expected to bring considerable debate including: transferring responsibility for Cover Oregon to the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS); a 2015 transportation package; the implementation of the new marijuana law; and increasing funding for higher education.

In addition, the Democrats have introduced a package of bills they are calling a “Fair Shot for All.” A coalition group is promoting policy solutions to create economic opportunities for working families and recommending these priorities:

  • Raising the minimum wage;
  • Ensuring all Oregonians earn paid sick days;
  • Ending profiling;
  • Providing a method for people to save for retirement; and
  • Creating job opportunities for people with prior convictions and arrests. 

Oregon Credit Union Priorities

The Northwest Credit Union Association will be involved in the introduction of two bills. The first is to allow prized-linked savings programs in Oregon credit unions. The second bill is an update to the Oregon Credit Union Act that will make four changes to the Oregon Credit Union Act:

  1. Board Stipends: Allow Oregon credit unions the option to provide reasonable compensation to their directors.
  2. Membership, Share Account Requirement: Amend state law to remove share account requirement on membership requirement.
  3. Membership, Foster Parents: Remove ORS 723.188 which requires any credit union that serves state employees to include foster parents in its field of membership. Replace this requirement with a definitional change that would include foster parents and legally appointed guardians in the definition of relatives eligible for membership.
  4. Supervision & Regulation: Remove the requirement that the DCBS approve new branches. This may be rolled up in the Reg-Flex concept.

These two bills will be introduced in early February. The Association staff is also reviewing the 1,200-plus bills that were filed before the session and will report out on major bills as the session progresses. We anticipate credit unions will be involved in several important discussions this session. Some of the key committees we will be working with this session will be:

Senate Business and Transportation

Senate Judiciary

House Consumer Protection and Government Effectiveness

House Business and Labor

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790, jpearson@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News.