Public Funds Bill Passes in Washington House

1/16/18

The Northwest Credit Union Movement has achieved a significant victory just a few days into Washington’s 2018 legislative session. On Jan. 11, one of the most pressing legislative priorities for Washington credit unions passed on the House floor.

Last week, we asked Washington credit unions to encourage state legislators to support SHB 1209, which would make it possible for municipalities to bank unlimited public deposits with local financial institutions. Your representatives listened, passing the bill in the House with 80 yes votes.

“Congratulations and thank you to everyone who has helped us support this effort,” said Jennifer Wagner, NWCUA’s Chief Advocacy Officer. “Our work now turns to the Senate. We need Washington credit union advocates to continue to tell legislators how supporting this bill will show their constituents they stand with their communities, not the big banks.”

State and local governments are entrusted to be the custodians of municipal deposits. As public servants, they are charged with this important responsibility, and are obligated to safeguard the people’s money pursuant to lawful requirements and watchful oversight. At the same time, these municipalities are expected to seek a fair and competitive rate of return on the “people’s money.”

Many local governments in Washington are underbanked and underserved. They need more financial institution choices in their local markets. Currently, Washington State’s $250,000 cap on public funds limits public entities’ ability to make a competitive choice.

“As credit union professionals, your stories are important to helping policymakers understand how credit unions in Washington are assisting people in underserved communities,” said Paula Sardinas, NWCUA’s Vice President, Legislative Affairs for Washington. “You can make a difference in moving this legislation forward by telling your legislators why local, member-owned, not-for-profit cooperatives are a smarter choice for local municipalities’ public funds deposits.”

Our goal is for each representative to receive at least 100 calls or emails from credit union advocates about this legislation. Click here for Washington legislators’ contact information, and click here if you need help identifying your legislators.

Stay tuned for further updates as this bill moves to the Senate Finance Committee.

Join us in Washington on Jan. 24 to stand up for credit unions at the Capitol. Click here to learn more and to register. 

Posted in Advocacy News.