Credit Unions Share New Community Impact Data with Elected Officials During 2022 Idaho CU Day at the Capitol

Idaho legislators are more informed about the incredible ways credit unions support their members and communities after connecting with cooperatives, from across the state, during the 2022 Idaho Credit Union Day at the Capitol, last week.

The highly anticipated two-day advocacy event began Tuesday afternoon with an Idaho State CU Candidate Forum, where credit unions had the unique opportunity to meet and hear perspectives from several candidates running for statewide and legislative office, including Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and others.

Words from the Governor

On Wednesday morning, Governor Brad Little kicked off day two of the event, as he joined Idaho credit unions to discuss statewide priorities for 2022, which include an increased focus on education, tax relief, workforce development and housing as well as transportation and infrastructure. Little remained optimistic about the future of Idaho’s economy and job growth. “We’ve got a good story to tell in Idaho,” he said.

Hearing from the Regulator

Attendees also heard from Idaho Department of Finance Director Patti Perkins on the evolving financial services landscape and current challenges. Perkins said a big opportunity for credit unions lies in advancing digital transformation, financial technologies, and reviewing the future for digital assets, and that the department is “interested in helping financial services move along” in these areas.

Labor shortages continue to be a concern for employers across all industries, including financial services. Placing a greater focus on employee retention will be critical for maintaining growth, she said. Perkins expressed that she feels very positive about the Credit Union Movement in Idaho and shared that examiners will be providing guidance to financial institutions to closely monitor interest rate risk as the Federal Reserve looks to increase interest rates throughout 2022.

Sharing the Credit Union Difference Over Lunch

Later that morning, NWCUA EVP and Chief Advocacy Officer Jennifer Wagner unveiled the latest data collected through the Association’s Community Impact Reporting Tool (CIRT), which credit unions shared with elected officials during the legislative luncheon. Headlines included:

  • Idaho credit unions gave back $105.5 million to their communities in 2021 through direct financial benefits, charitable contributions, scholarships, and volunteerism.
  • Idahoans saved $2.7 billion for a rainy day in their credit union savings accounts.
  • Idaho credit unions provided $554 million in loans to first-time homebuyers, $1.8 billion in refinanced home loans, and $228 million in loans to rural consumers and businesses.
  • More than 27,000 Idahoans received financial education in 2021 thanks to credit unions.
  • Idaho credit union staff contributed 24,000 hours to community service and volunteerism and supported 750 nonprofit organizations.

“Credit unions share a very important objective with you,” NWCUA President and CEO Troy Stang told legislators during the luncheon, “acting in the bests interest of Idahoans and taking actions that help consumers and businesses to thrive.”

Honoring Important Contributions

As the legislative luncheon came to a close, Troy Stang and Ryan Fitzgerald, NWCUA Vice President of Legislative Affairs for Idaho, presented the NWCUA Community Impact Award to Senate Commerce & HR Committee Chairman Jim Patrick (R – Twin Falls – 25) for his leadership and guidance in helping the Northwest Movement overhaul and modernize the Idaho Credit Union Act.

Next month, Northwest credit unions will convene virtually for Washington Credit Union Day at the Capitol on Feb. 10, and in Salem for the Oregon State Legislative Luncheon Feb. 17. Learn more and register online.

Posted in Advocacy News, Day at the Capitol Recaps.