Washington Credit Union Act Update Legislation Signed by Governor Inslee

Collaboration by credit union advocates and bipartisan support in Olympia brought the bill across the finish line.

4/9/2019

Gov. Inslee signs House Bill No. 1247 on April 8, 2019. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Kristine Reeves and goes into effect July 28. Photo courtesy of Washington State Legislative Support Services.

House Bill 1247, the Washington Credit Union Movement’s priority legislation of the 2019 session, was signed this week by Gov. Jay Inslee and will take effect July 28.

HB 1247 makes six common sense updates to the Credit Union Act, allowing credit unions to better serve their 4.3 million members, increase member engagement and participation, and add clarity for state regulators in their work to provide strong oversight.

The Northwest Credit Union Association’s State Issues Work Group and Governmental Affairs Committee collaborated with the NWCUA advocacy team to propose the legislation, which was sponsored in the House by Reps. Kristine Reeves (D-Federal Way) and Larry Hoff (R-Vancouver), with Sens. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah), Lynda Wilson (R-Vancouver), and Annette Cleveland (D-Vancouver) sponsoring a companion version in the Senate.

After committee hearings in both chambers earlier in the legislative session, the bill was approved with unanimous support by the House and Senate in March.

“As a working mom who has to balance a family budget, I know that access to reliable financial institutions is critical to my family’s success,” said Reeves, who serves as Vice Chair of the House Consumer Protection and Business Committee. “I am proud to support legislation that promotes equal access to financial opportunity for working families and ensures continued transparency and accountability of our state’s not-for-profit credit unions.”

Hoff echoed Reeves’ sentiments, saying he’s “always pleased when legislation supports efficiencies in any industry, particularly one in which I served for 35 years.” Hoff spent more than two decades of his credit union career as President and CEO of Longview, Washington-based Fibre Federal Credit Union.

In a session with nearly three thousand bills introduced, HB 1247 was one of the first 27 bills to pass the Legislature this session.

“Your Association team worked with bill sponsors, committee chairs, and leadership in both chambers who all made this update a top priority,” said Joe Adamack, NWCUA Vice President of Legislative Affairs for Washington. “We greatly appreciate the hard work by so many credit union leaders to develop this legislation and now encourage you and your team to reach out to your elected officials and thank them for supporting credit unions and their members.”

An online form is available for credit union advocates to identify their elected officials and send an email thanking supporters.

The NWCUA team continues to monitor and engage on variety of other issues and legislation of potential interest to credit unions as the regular session moves toward an April 28 end date.