Oregon Legislature Finishes 2020 Session with Walkout Stalling Legislation

The impasse notwithstanding, credit unions seized the opportunity to shine the spotlight on their services and impact.

3/10/20

Thanks to credit union advocates for attending the Oregon Legislative Lunch, Feb. 13. Legislators now know a lot more about how credit unions are helping members on Main Street build brighter financial futures.

The Oregon Legislature’s 35-day “short session” ended at midnight, March 8 — three days after Democratic leaders adjourned all business amid a walkout by Republican lawmakers.

The walkout was in protest to SB 1530, the Cap and Trade Carbon Tax Bill, being voted out of a Senate committee and set up for a floor vote. As a result of the walkout, there was no quorum. The Cap and Trade bill and others that were pending died with the final gavel.

Oregon’s Credit Union Movement did not have a bill pending this session, but it did leverage every possible opportunity to message impact, lending, financial education, and other priorities to their representatives.

That was clear on Feb. 13, when advocates attended the Oregon Legislative Luncheon.

“We appreciate all of the advocates who came to share their credit unions’ stories and deliver the Oregon Credit Unions’ Community Impact Report,” said Pamela Leavitt, the Northwest Credit Union Association’s Policy Advisor for Oregon State Advocacy and Grassroots. “We received a lot of great feedback from legislators.”

Leavitt tracked dozens of bills that may have impacted credit unions. She and Sharee Adkins, Executive Director of the Northwest Credit Union Foundation, put credit unions’ financial education efforts in a positive spotlight during a Senate Committee on Education hearing during the session.

When the session ended, the political season kicked off. March 10 was the deadline for candidates to file to run for public office. NWCUA will be arranging meetings with legislators and candidates this spring and will work with member credit unions to contribute to supportive candidates prior to the May primary.

“Now is the time to engage with legislators when they are not in the throes of the session,” Leavitt said. “Invite your legislators to visit the credit union this spring and engage with us on campaign strategy. Advocacy works when credit unions collaborate.”

Have a question or comment about this story? Email us!