MADISON, Wis. (5/12/15)--The Wisconsin Credit Union League and its members were encouraged to see Gov. Scott Walker delete provisions from the state budget bill that would have sewn together the Office of Credit Unions (OCU), the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and the Department of Safety and Professional Services.
Walker also announced last week that he asked state lawmakers to pull bills in the Legislature that also contained the proposal to merge the state agencies.
The league, the state’s credit unions and the Cooperative Network opposed the measure because it failed to address any problems, offered no benefits to financial institutions and increased bureaucracy in the state.
“The governor’s budget bill merger proposal--along with the two stand-alone bills--offered stakeholders the opportunity to engage public officials and share their satisfaction with the effective, efficient and accountable operations at the OCU and DFI,” said Tom Liebe, league senior vice president of advocacy.
Added Liebe: “Even though we opposed this multi-agency merger, we can certainly appreciate why some elected officials would want to bring the OCU/DFI culture of effectiveness and transparency to other areas of state government.”
Wisconsin’s credit unions, which applauded the governor’s recent action, worked diligently to fight the measures through the media, with emails and calls, and at recent public hearings.
Through the process, the public learned that Wisconsin’s financial institution regulators cost taxpayers fewer dollars and have fewer employees that other states, all while performing at a high level.
Liebe said that the proposal was a valuable exercise in examining the benefits of merging state agencies, but that ultimately the league supported and will continue to support maintaining independent, efficient and accountable regulators.