Credit union advocates from throughout New York were in Albany this week to take part in the New York Credit Union Association’s (NYCUA) 2017 State Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). The two-day event provided attendees with opportunities to connect with state lawmakers and advocate for pro-credit union legislation.
“State GAC is an important event that produces important results,” said NYCUA President/CEO William J. Mellin. “The fact that a number of lawmakers agreed to support our priorities as a result of our advocacy efforts speaks to the influence the credit union movement has built in Albany over the years. Thank you to all who came out and made sure the credit union voice was heard in our state Capitol.”
State GAC attendees focused their discussions with lawmakers on four main legislative issues: the inclusion of credit unions in the state Banking Development Districts Program; increasing penalties for robberies committed with a demand note; allowing credit unions to accept municipal deposits; and the creation of a state funds deposit program.
The State GAC kicked off Monday with two simultaneous breakout sessions: a discussion on the state of the taxi medallion industry and a young professionals track.
During a legislative update Monday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Huntington) and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Geneva) addressed the group. Both lawmakers thanked the credit union advocates for bringing their message to Albany, and Kolb in particular expressed his strong support for the demand-note robbery legislation.
Tuesday included an economic update led by Edmund J. McMahon, the founder and research director at the Empire Center for Public Policy and a longtime thought-leader among New York’s fiscal conservatives.
McMahon’s remarks served as a jumping-off point for State GAC attendees’ legislative visits. The meetings with lawmakers and senior staff began at 9:30 a.m. and ran through the duration of the day.
Several lawmakers expressed support for credit union issues. Notably, Assemblyman Michael Kearns (D-Buffalo) signed on to the demand-note robbery bill while he was meeting with a group of credit union advocates.