Oregon CU Advocates Testify on Financial Education, DCBS Budget Legislation

The House Committee on Education held a hearing on HB2229, which would require public school districts and charter schools to make financial education available as an elective, by July 1, 2018.

The Committee was presented with documented evidence of the work credit unions are voluntarily doing to support financial education.

“We would like to work with the members of this committee to find a compromise on HB2229 that would support our continuing goals of giving students personal financial management skills,” said Pam Leavitt, Northwest Credit Union Association Policy Advisor for Oregon State Advocacy. A lack of financial education, Leavitt said, “results in poor spending, saving, and investment decisions that can lead to consumers using excessive credit just to make ends meet.”

Leavitt said credit unions are encouraging school districts to prioritize financial education. She presented lawmakers with details about what nine Oregon credit unions have done to support students and teachers in the past year.

Offering additional testimony in support of financial literacy legislation was Amanda Brenneman-Brown, Community Education Director at Corvallis-based Oregon State Credit Union. Brenneman-Brown said Oregon State CU offered more than 300 financial education presentations last year, reaching 8,800 students.

“When it comes to financial literacy, the needs are great and growing. Requests continue to increase coming in from teachers as well as community partners seeking our financial education programming and resources,” said Brenneman-Brown.

Meanwhile, the legislature continues to grapple with budget pressures and credit unions worked to protect funding for the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS). At another hearing in Salem last week, Amy Nelson, CEO of Portland-based Point West Credit Union, testified about the critical role the DCBS’s Division of Financial Regulation played helping her credit union to navigate its net worth restoration plan during the recession.

“The difference-making commitment of the Division of Financial Regulation demonstrates the benefit of a strong dual charter and a healthy state credit union system,” said Nelson “It is our hope the Division continues to have the resources they need in order to continue achieving the good work they consistently do. Credit Unions and members across the State of Oregon depend on a strong regulator who works well with those they regulate.”

Silverton Mayor Rick Lewis will fill the vacant House District 18 seat. Lewis was appointed February 21 to complete the two-year term of Republican Vic Gilliam, who resigned Feb. 1 after winning re-election Nov. 8. Gilliam resigned for health reasons.



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Questions about this story? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News, Financial Education.