Spring Advocacy Updates

Spring Hike the Hill

A delegation of 14 advocates joined Jennifer Wagner and Samantha Beeler for the Spring Hike the Hill May 2-4. Their timing was excellent, as the markup process was underway on H.R. 10—the Financial Choice Act.  

Northwest advocates had the opportunity to listen in on some of the over 30 hours of hearings. while on site. On May 4, that bill was passed out of committee along party lines. While the legislation includes a number of credit union priorities, it also includes some areas of concern.

Your Association continues to engage with members and staff on ways to make this bill better for credit unions.

Additionally, credit union advocates discussed legislative priorities with staff from the Senate Banking Committee. The Committee will soon begin work on an economic growth package that will likely include regulatory relief for credit unions. Advocates met with members of Congress from both sides of the aisle representing Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Members of the House will be back home in their districts the week of May 8. We look forward to closely monitoring the next steps of H.R. 10 when members are back in D.C. on May 15th and communicating with you what those next steps are.

Success: Oregon Credit Union Act

HB 2161, modernizing Oregon’s Credit Union Act passed May 2, and now awaits Governor Kate Brown’s signature.

The bill streamlines Oregon’s Act by:

  • Allowing state regulators to set the minimum number of board meetings each year, by taking the specific number of required meetings out of the statute. Currently, at least 10 meetings in 10 separate months are required. The NWCUA recommends a required minimum of six meetings per year, in alignment with Washington’s state charter;
  • Discontinuing the requirement for approval of bylaws changes by the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS). The legislation allows changes to take effect unless denied by the DCBS within 30 days;
  • Allowing a credit union to expel a member engaged in activity likely to cause a loss for the credit union; and
  • Refreshing the parity provision, allowing Oregon credit unions to exercise federal powers under the new or updated federal credit union regulations, in the same manner that federally-chartered credit unions can.

The updates take effect January 1, 2018.

Success: Washington Credit Union Act

The Washington Legislature passed SB 5144, which modernizes the Washington Credit Union Act by removing unnecessary red tape and allowing 55 state-chartered credit unions to focus more effectively on their members.

Governor Jay Inslee signed the legislation April 19.

A key improvement to the Act amends the Low-Income Credit Union (LICU) designation so credit unions may qualify more seamlessly.

The legislation also streamlines responsibilities of the board of directors, cleaning up confusing language, and allowing more delegation of duties to the CEO. The role of the Supervisory Committee also has been clarified to ensure audits are performed and financials are independently verified.

Other provisions of SB 5144 include: • Elimination of the outdated term, “purchasing shares;” • Updating of the Federal Parity Date to 2017; and • Clearing up overlapping language in the Investment of Funds clause.

Idaho Credit Unions’ Economic Impact Report-Coming Soon!

The Northwest Credit Unions’ Economic Impact Report released in January, documents $7.7 billion in economic impact by Oregon and Washington credit unions. The report has helped fuel successful advocacy in both state legislatures and in the beltway.

Your Association has commissioned ECONorthwest to now perform an analysis of Idaho credit unions’ impact. In late May, credit unions will receive their surveys, with results expected this fall. We encourage 100 percent participation. Jennifer Wagner and Nate Clayville will provide details soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Advocacy News.