Calling all Credit Unions: We’re Underway in the Beltway, Boise, Salem, and Olympia

Credit unions’ priority legislation is already “in the hopper” as the 116th Congress and Idaho, Oregon, and Washington legislatures gavel in.

1/22/2019

The Northwest Credit Union Association’s advocacy team and member credit unions’ grassroots armies moved swiftly to position credit union priorities with legislators as Congress and the region’s three state legislatures began their 2019 sessions.

Idaho Economic Committee Gains Insight from Credit Unions

Just before the session started, Ryan Fitzgerald, VP of Legislative Affairs, provided testimony about Idaho credit unions’ impact on the economy to the Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment Committee. Fitzgerald also shared the outlook for Fiscal Year 2020 from Idaho credit unions’ perspective.

“This session, we will introduce legislation making technical updates to the state Credit Union Act,” Fitzgerald said. “Idaho credit unions are now serving nearly one million members, and it’s important that we come out in force to share that story with legislators during our Credit Union Day at the Capitol January 30th.”

Credit Union Act Updates in Oregon

The Oregon Legislature officially begins its work Jan. 22, but your Association and Oregon credit union advocates have worked since the last session ended to craft the policy agenda for this year.

“It is a priority to keep the charter relevant so credit unions can best serve the needs of their two million members,” said Pamela Leavitt, NWCUA Policy Advisor, Oregon State Advocacy & Grassroots. “NWCUA is promoting three priority initiatives, including electronic signature on mortgage documents, allowing the use of drivers’ licenses to populate opening accounts at credit unions, and updating the Oregon Credit Union Act to allow for electronic annual meetings, and changes to board and committee governance.”

Credit union advocates helped your Association to craft the 2019 legislation, and are encouraged to attend this year’s Credit Union Day at the Capitol Feb. 20.

Washington Act Update Bill Introduced

In Washington, legislation to update the state’s Credit Union Act was introduced in the House with bipartisan support by representatives Kristine Reeves (D-30) and Larry Hoff (R-18), and in the Senate by Mark Mullet (D –5) and Lynda Wilson (R-17).

The legislation would make the following updates by:

  • Allowing the DFI to review additional CUSO investments;
  • Granting the DFI authority to review investments;
  • Allowing for virtual membership meetings;
  • Updating the parity date from July 23, 2017 to the effective date of the Act and with the DFI’s approval to request authority from other states;
  • Granting the DFI ability to work with other state regulators on Field of Membership permissions; and
  • Clarifying the Member Account Verification timeline.

“We appreciate the engagement of Washington credit unions, the State Issues Work Group, and the Governmental Affairs Committee in shaping this legislation,” said Joe Adamack, NWCUA Vice President of Washington Legislative Affairs. “We will continue to work with our members to ensure these updates to the Act become law.”

Advocates are invited to Washington’s Credit Union Day at the Capitol Feb. 13.

Building on S. 2155 and Beyond

Northwest credit union advocates played a key role passing the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act last year. Coming off that momentum, the priorities in 2019 include preserving credit unions’ income tax status, modernizing the Bank Secrecy Act, protecting consumers and credit unions against data breaches, and as always, reducing unnecessary regulatory barriers. More than 200 Northwest advocates will join NWCUA to message U.S. Senators and Members of Congress during the Credit Union National Association’s Government Affairs Conference March 10-14.