Governor Little Signs Credit Union Act Update Legislation

Idaho credit union advocates got to do something earlier this month they haven’t been able to do in recent times — come to Boise for an in-person bill signing ceremony. While bills advancing credit union priorities have passed in recent years, the ceremonial pomp and circumstance haven’t been possible lately.

Governor Brad Little signed S. 1295 into law in his office on March 18. He was flanked by some of the advocates who worked tirelessly with NWCUA to develop the legislation and get it passed with broad bipartisan support. For those on hand, it was a “red carpet” moment.

“Meeting with Governor Little was a fantastic culmination to all the great work done to update the Idaho Credit Union Act,” said Nick Fugal, Chief Financial officer for Clarity Credit Union based in Meridian and Co-Chair of the Idaho Government Affairs Committee. “This bill helps Idaho credit unions remain relevant and best serve the 1.2 million Idahoans who’ve chosen us as their financial partners.”

The Act updates take effect July 1. Highlights of the bill include:

  • Expanded branching flexibility;
  • New definition of safety and soundness;
  • Overhauled powers and services for credit union members, such as wealth management and financial counseling services; tax preparation and insurance services; broadened electronic service facilities capabilities, such as ITMs and advanced technology services; and the ability for low-income designated credit unions to provide basic banking services to non-members in underserved or underbanked communities;
  • Expanded member expulsion flexibility to ensure the safety of employees and other members;
  • The ability for credit unions to hold virtual board and annual membership meetings;
  • Flexibility in the procedures for credit unions to update and approve bylaws and articles of incorporation; and
  • Removal of outdated and archaic regulatory language throughout several sections of the act.

Getting to the ceremonial moment was a collaborative journey, according to Ryan Fitzgerald, NWCUA Vice President, Legislative Affairs for Idaho.

“We thank and congratulate all of the credit union leaders for their efforts to make an impact, including those who served on the Idaho State Issues Work Group and Governmental Affairs Committee, those who met with their elected representatives during the legislative luncheon this year, and to everyone who contacted or met with lawmakers asking for their support,” Fitzgerald said. “Their work helps credit unions provide the best possible services to consumers.”

Editor’s note: As previously reported in Anthem, advocacy also resulted in the passage of legislation modernizing the Washington Credit Union Act. Governor Jay Inslee has signed the bill, which takes effect on June 9.

Posted in Advocacy News, Around the NW.