It’s Go-Time for Credit Unions in the Statehouses and in the Beltway

For Northwest credit unions, a lot of hard work is about to pay off. All the input shared with the NWCUA during State Issues Work Group and Governmental Affairs Committee meetings, in regional meetings, during check-in calls, and other touchpoints, is set to move the policy advancement needle in the right direction.

Here is a snapshot of what to expect from statehouses to the beltway.

Updating the Idaho Credit Union Act

Credit unions are asking lawmakers to support continued modernization of the Idaho state charter in areas such as ease of branching, reasonable member expulsion provisions, corporate powers innovation, and flexibility for virtual board and membership meetings.

Credit unions are on a roll in the Gem State, having passed bills last year streamlining the garnishment process and allowing for electronic vehicle titling and registration. Two NWCUA-backed bills also passed in 2020; one updating the Credit Union Act and the other making improvements to the lienholder notification bill.

The Idaho Credit Union Day at the Capitol events, Jan. 25 and 26, present great opportunities for advocates to help pass this year’s bill and set the stage for pivotal elections later this year. Meet candidates for statewide office at a “Meet the Candidates” forum on the afternoon of the 25. The following day, tell your credit union’s story to your elected officials during the Legislative Luncheon. Other highlights of the day include remarks by Governor Little and rich data from the Community Impact Reporting Tool, detailing credit unions’ financial education, charitable contributions, rural lending, and more. In addition, look for an inspiring presentation on innovative ways to serve your members with Chris Harper, Senior Director of Membership at the Filene Research Institute. Find more information online and sign up today.

Off and Running in Washington

Having passed bills that removed limits on public fund deposits in the state’s five largest counties last year, the Washington Credit Union Movement is poised to pass further updates to the state charter during this session, which began on Monday.

Key elements of HB 1165 include broadening investment authority beyond CUSOs to provide access to a broader suite of products and services and the ability to influence product development, especially in financial technology, modernizing the definition of small credit unions, removing the fixed asset occupancy requirement, and providing the ability to offer limited services to non-members.

Make your voice heard on this legislation and tell your story at the Washington Credit Union Day at the Capitol, Feb. 10. Due to ongoing pandemic restrictions, this year’s event will be held virtually, as lawmakers will begin the session in a fully remote environment. Register yourself and your colleagues here.

Keeping Credit Unions Front and Center in Oregon

The 35-day “short session” will gavel in Feb. 1 and will see credit unions engaging in key policy discussions around housing, support of small businesses, and data security.

A years-long track record of successful advocacy and relationship building will serve Oregon credit unions well as there are big leadership changes in the legislature. Last week, House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) announced she will resign on Jan. 21, as she devotes full time to her campaign for Governor. The day before Speaker Kotek’s announcement, long-time Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) announced he will retire at the end of 2022. The 78-year-old Courtney has presided over the Oregon Senate for nearly two decades. There are several other leadership positions turning over in the legislature this year. All this change and looming elections certainly underscore the need for Oregon credit unions to continue their vigilant advocacy.

The Oregon Credit Union Legislative Luncheon on Feb. 17 is a good opportunity to continue this work. Registration is already going well, but there are still open seats for this opportunity to stand up for credit unions and protect and advance the charter. Sign up here.

See You at CUNA GAC

Thousands of credit union advocates will make their way to the beltway from Feb. 17 to March 3 for the Credit Union National Association’s Governmental Affairs Conference. It is an important time to connect with elected officials and share the great work credit unions are doing for the best financial partners for their constituents. Advocates will be supporting a number of key bills that would advance the credit union charter and highlight the community impact of the credit union movement. Visit the GAC website for more information on registration, and on Washington, D.C.’s pandemic mask and vaccine requirements.

Your NWCUA advocacy team is fully engaged this week as the House comes back into session and the Senate reconvenes to tackle issues important to the economy including the Senate Banking confirmation hearing for Fed Chair Jarome Powell. Additionally, the team is paying close attention to the SCOTUS proceedings regarding the federal vaccine and test requirements proposed by the administration through OSHA.

Posted in Advocacy News, Day at the Capitol Recaps.