WESTBROOK, Maine (11/9/15)--If gridlock truly is an issue in American politics, don’t count Maine’s credit unions as part of the problem, at least according to lawmakers in the state.
The Maine Credit Union League recently held its annual legislative forum, and lawmakers in attendance had only positive things to say about the state’s credit union movement related to its role in the political process.
“When it comes to the legislative process, credit unions do a great job of working with legislators and other interested parties instead of taking an ‘all-or-nothing’ approach like other organizations sometimes do,” said Rep. Barry Hobbins (R-Saco), House chair of the Judiciary Committee (Weekly Update). “Believe me, we legislators appreciate that.”
The forum provided attendees an opportunity to learn about the issues the Legislature may have on its plate in the upcoming legislative session. In addition to Hobbins, also sitting on the panel this year were Rep. Ken Fredette (R-Newport), House minority leader; Rep. Sara Gideon (D-Freeport), assistant House majority leader; and Sen. David Burns (R-Whiting), Senate chair of the Judiciary Committee.
The panelists discussed recently approved legislation supported by the league that allows credit unions to expedite the foreclosure process, as they were impressed with how the league coordinated its efforts to rally support for the bill.
“The league and credit unions did a nice job of articulating the issue, and working with others to find a solution,” Burns said. “As a credit union volunteer, I could certainly appreciate the issue, and was able to provide that perspective to others in my caucus. The credit unions were respectful of the process and took the time to work through it.”
Added Gideon: “You kept us informed about what you were trying to do, why it was important, and communicated updates frequently. It’s a testament to having built good relationships with many legislators, and listening to concerns from others and having a willingness to make revisions along the way.”
John Murphy, league president, said it was nice to hear that legislators viewed credit unions positively.
“It reinforces that credit union involvement in the legislative and political process does matter,” he said.