Sarah Wainscott, Wisconsin Credit Union League vice president of government affairs, provided a state advocacy update during a breakout session open to over 200 attendees at the Wisconsin Credit Union League’s Government Affairs Conference on Wednesday.
In November the league successfully advocated for the passage of bills permitting prize-linked savings (PLS) raffles and requiring financial literacy standards in schools. The prize-linked savings measure, AB 283/SB 213, permits credit unions and other financial institutions to offer prize-linked savings accounts. In these programs, a consumer makes a deposit into a qualified savings account and in doing so is entered into a prize drawing, thus rewarding the individual for saving.
Wainscott highlighted the benefits of PLS programs, including how programs the encourage members to save and increase consumer awareness of credit unions.
Wainscott said the league and a taskforce of credit union leaders are in the first stages of developing a state-wide PLS program through which Wisconsin credit unions and their members would participate in one large raffle.
“We want to be sure we can get as many credit unions signed up for this program right from the start,” Wainscott said. “The more credit unions we have involved the more awareness we build.”
Wainscott also outlined how the league is developing a statewide Advocacy Army of credit union volunteers as part of a nationwide CUNA Volunteer Leadership Initiative. This initiative, supported by CUNA and many state leagues, recruits, trains, and engages an army of advocates that tell the credit union story from the perspective of volunteers directors.
“We’re looking for some folks to help us determine what Wisconsin's Advocacy Army might look like,” Wainscott said. “Volunteers have unique story to tell.”
As for other advocacy priorities, Wainscott said the league continues to work to bring state regulations in parity with federal powers and is also working to improve the credit union operating environment though continued enhancements to the Chapter 186 of the Wisconsin State Statute.