MADISON, Wis. (3/20/15)--A number of state legislatures have credit union-backed prize-linked savings (PLS) bills making their way through various house and senate bodies this week.
In Oregon, HB 2893 received a hearing in the House Committee on Business and Labor, with Jim Morrell, president/CEO, Peninsula Community CU, Shelton, Wash., and Pamela Leavitt, policy adviser for the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA), testifying in support.
PLS accounts incentivize credit union members to save by offering them entries into cash raffles each time they set a certain amount of money aside into savings accounts.
"The beauty of prize-linked savings is that there is no way to lose your money," Morrell said (Anthem March 16). "Your deposits are your savings. You earn slightly more in interest. And you have the opportunity to win cash prizes. In addition, there is a positive motivation for you to save more money so that you have more entries to win."
The bill awaits a vote by the committee, which will take place at a work session next week. Upon approval, the bill would be sent to the house floor, according to the NWCUA.
Also this week, Minnesota's Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved SF 1043, a Minnesota Credit Union Network-sponsored bill that allows credit unions to offer PLS accounts.
The bill now heads to the Minnesota Senate floor.
Further, legislation sponsored by the New Jersey Credit Union League and state Sens. Richard Codey (D-Essex) and Ronald Rice (D-Essex) to allow credit unions to offer PLS accounts was unanimously approved Monday by the state's Senate Commerce Committee.
A companion bill in New Jersey also has been introduced in the Assembly and is pending consideration by the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee, according to the league.
Finally, Pennsylvania may be next on the list of states to introduce PLS account legislation.
Rep. Rosemary Brown (R-Monroe) is working with the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association to craft legislation that would allow the state to offer the product (Life is a Highway March 13).
The 11 states that already allow credit unions to offer PLS accounts include Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington.