Oregon Legislative Update: Prize-Linked Savings Approved by Legislature

The Oregon Senate passed HB2893, the bill to allow prize-linked savings in the state, by a vote of 30-0 this week. The bill will now be sent to Governor Kate Brown to be signed into law.

Prize-linked savings (PLS) is a tested and proven method to make savings more fun, which makes people more likely to save. When members save, they are entered into raffles for cash prizes. However, even if they don’t win a raffle, they get to keep every dollar they saved, plus interest.

To take part in prize-linked savings, credit union members open special savings accounts at participating credit unions. Every time they deposit a specified amount in this account, they are entered into a drawing for cash prizes.

Peninsula Credit Union President and CEO Jim Morrell, Twinstar Credit Union President and CEO Jeff Kennedy, and NWCUA Legislative Policy Advisor Pam Leavitt all testified in support of the bill.

Kennedy’s testimony stated, “We view this program as a ‘win-win’ for our members. Save to Win [Washington State’s prize-linked savings program] is designed to appeal to a broad demographic, with specific features to make the product easily accessible to financially vulnerable members. The program successfully attracts low to moderate income families and has positively impacted their savings behavior. And in addition, they have the opportunity to receive cash rewards, which are enhanced by their own positive savings behavior.”

Once signed, the new law will take effect January 1, 2016.

Bullish Revenue Forecast

Oregon’s biennial binding revenue forecast showed a robust economy growing faster than expected, which would give the government more money to spend on schools, human services and public safety.

The report also estimated a “kicker” tax rebate of $473 million for Oregonians that would be included in their 2015 taxes next year.

Even after the “kicker,” the 2015-2017 state budget is estimated to grow by $463 million.

Hearing on SB 582

Rivermark Community Credit Union President and CEO Scott Burgess testified on Monday in a hearing on SB 582, a bill to improve the state credit union act. Also testifying were attorney Hal Scoggins and NWCUA Policy Advisor Pamela Leavitt.

The bill will likely receive a committee vote next week. 

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

Posted in Advocacy News.