NWCUA, Credit Union Advocates Advance Policy Agendas in State Legislatures
August 3, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Examples of successful legislation include charter modernizations, streamlined vehicle titling, and access for municipalities to deposit unlimited public funds in credit unions.
Boise, Idaho, Tigard, Oregon, and SeaTac, Washington (August 3, 2021) — The Northwest Credit Union Association continued a years-long tradition in 2021, collaborating with its members to advance priority legislation in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. While protecting credit unions’ tax structures and preventing new, burdensome, regulatory barriers, the Northwest “Advocacy Army” also saw the passage of a series of significant bills beneficial to the region’s 175 credit unions and 8.1 million consumer members.
Three legislative proposals directly related to credit union operations passed in Idaho. They include:
- HB 49 — Emergency Perfection of Vehicle Titles. NWCUA worked with legislative leaders and the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) to provide an emergency protocol to protect financial institutions from losing their legal lien rights on secured assets during a titling backlog brought on by the pandemic.
- SB 1102 – Electronic Titling and Registration for Vehicles. This bill allows third party vendors to apply for a technology license at the Idaho Transportation Department, to electronically process vehicle titles and registration through a secure platform tied to the ITD Titling and Registration System.
- SB 1131 – Garnishment Alignment and Clarification. This bill aligns Idaho’s garnishment “look back” period with the look back period established in federal garnishment statute.
Two priority bills which passed in Oregon include:
- HB3079 – Updating the Credit Union Act. This legislation removes barriers for credit union investments in CUSOs, modernizes the language on emergency mergers, and maintains state-chartered credit unions’ abilities to obtain parity with federal credit unions.
- HB3080 – Scan Identification Bill. Effective January 1, 2022, this law will allow credit unions to scan a driver’s license or state issued ID card to process loan or deposit account applications, after obtaining a member’s permission to do so.
Credit unions and municipal governments saw key public funds legislation pass in the Washington State Legislature this session.
- SB 5016 – Municipal Access to Local Financial Services. Passing with broad, bi-partisan support, this new law gives municipal governments the ability to deposit unlimited public funds in credit unions, providing them with more competitive and safe investment options. The law previously excluded unlimited public funds deposits in the state’s five largest counties.
While the legislature adjourned before a bill to update the Washington Credit Union Act could receive a full Senate vote, the measure is already officially in the queue for the 2022 session.
Advocacy is an inclusive process.
NWCUA works closely with member credit unions in determining short-and long-term advocacy priorities. Every two years a State Issues Work Group (SWIG) is convened in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington to think broadly about opportunities to modernize the state’s credit union act, discuss challenges and pain points, and consider ideal legislative and regulatory flexibilities that would enhance services to members. Participants include branch and operations level professionals, legal counsel, compliance experts, CFOs, and CEOs. In addition, NWCUA hosts a Governmental Affairs Committee in each of its states, all of which meet several times a year. In 2021, nearly 100 members were actively engaged in the GAC process.
“NWCUA, the State Issues Work Groups, and the Governmental Affairs Committees are committed to protect and evolve the best operating environment possible,” said Jennifer Wagner, NWCUAs Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy Officer. “This work is always done with the members’ best interests in mind, so consumers can choose, and do choose not-for-profit, cooperative credit unions as their trusted financial partners.”
In addition to the committee and work group process, NWCUA collaborates with a robust and engaged group of hundreds of credit union advocates who work in virtually all career levels. These advocates regularly attend training and participate in calls to action that help advance credit union policies.
Throughout the legislative session, more than 400 advocates attended virtual Credit Union Day at the Capitol events in all three Northwest states and took part in more than 200 meetings with lawmakers.
“The work of each and every advocate is key to protecting credit unions from unnecessary regulatory burdens, and in passing legislation that helps credit unions serve their members,” Wagner said.
The Northwest Credit Union Association is the trade association representing more than 175 not-for- profit, cooperative credit unions in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, and their 8.1 million consumer members. As not-for-profit cooperatives, credit unions look out for their members’ financial well-being. Everyone should open their eyes to a credit union. For more information, please visit: https://yourmoneyfurther.com.
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