Policy Advancement Takes Big Steps in Washington Legislature


Washington credit unions experienced their most effective week in the state legislature in recent history in early March, as two major legislative initiatives moved forward.  The success is the result of collaboration by credit union advocates, the state Governmental Affairs Committee, and your Association’s lobby team headed by Paula Sardinas, VP/Legislative Affairs for Washington.

SHB 1209–Granting Municipal Governments Greater Access to Credit Unions

Legislation allowing credit unions to accept unlimited municipal deposits was approved by the state Senate Friday, after passing in the House in January.

The legislation is now working its way through the concurrence process.

“This is legislation that local governments asked us for,” said Sardinas. “Creating more choice for local governments would offer taxpayer savings and increase competition in the marketplace.”

Sardinas noted that Sen. Lynda Wilson (R-17) was a persuasive advocate of the legislation.

“I was proud to support this legislation which will allow municipalities to participate in the same great benefits that others have for decades.  This gives the municipalities depositing public funds more banking options and allows for healthy competition in the community,” said Wilson.

Wilson was joined by the following senators in voting yes: Andy Billing (D-3), Reuven Carlyle (D-36), Maralyn Chase (D-32), Annette Cleveland (D-49), Steve Conway (D-29),  Jeannie Darneille (D-27), Manka Dhingra (D-45), David Frockt (D-46), Bob Hasegawa (D-11), Steve Hobbs (D-44), Sam Hunt (D-22), Karen Keiser (D-33), Patty Kuderer (D-48), Marko Liias (D-21), John McCoy (D-38), Mark Miloscia (R-30), Mark Mullet (D-5), Sharon Nelson (D-34), Guy Palumbo (D-1), Jamie Pedersen (D-43), Kevin Ranker (D-40), Ann Rivers (R-18), Christine Rolfes (D-23), Rebecca Saldana (D-37), Shelly Short (R-7), Dean Takko (D-19), Kevin Van De Wege (D-24), and Hans Zeiger (R-25).

Sardinas urged Washington advocates to access the NWCUA Grassroots Advocacy Center and follow the link to thank supportive Senators.

SB 5928—Clearing the Way for Safe Canna Business Banking

Legislation protecting financial institutions that serve legal marijuana businesses, is headed for Governor Jay Inslee to sign. The measure passed in the Senate earlier in the session and was approved by the House March 1.

Sen. Ann Rivers (R-18) sponsored the legislation.

Days before the vote, KOMO TV news aired a story illustrating the public safety issue underlining this nascent high cash industry, and the regulatory burden credit unions shoulder in banking legal marijuana businesses.  Russell Rosendal, CEO of Seattle-based Salal Credit Union, was interviewed about the issue along with Salal member Andy Brassington who owns the Evergreen Herbal Factory, a legal marijuana business.

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Posted in Advocacy News.