Credit union advocates brought their message to Pierre, S.D. last week for South Dakota Legislative Credit Union Day.
More than 25 credit union advocates, including the Credit Union Association of Dakotas (CUAD) advocacy team of Jeff Olson, president/CEO; Jay Kruse, chief advocacy officer; and Amy Kleinschmit, chief compliance officer spent the day informing state lawmakers about the many ways credit unions are helping their members achieve financial independence and success. The advocacy team also took advantage of the opportunity to rally support in favor of a several pieces of legislation working their way through the state capitol.
The day began with a South Dakota Government Affairs Committee meeting to develop strategy and discuss progress. Following the meeting, the committee joined with the larger group of advocates for a “Hike” up to the South Dakota Capitol building. Credit union professionals were recognized in both the State Senate and House chambers.
Following the adjournment in the chambers, attendees met at the Drifters Event Center in Pierre for an open dialogue, where they heard from 2018 Democrat gubernatorial candidate Billie Sutton, who currently serves as State Senate Minority Leader. U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) is also seeking the governor’s seat, but was unable to attend. Staff member Rick Vallery appeared and answered questions on her behalf. Candidates running for South Dakota’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives currently held by Noem also addressed the group, including Republican candidate Shantel Krebs and Tim Bjorkman, a Democratic candidate.
The day ended with a social hosted by CUAD. More than 35 South Dakota legislators attended the event, giving the credit union professionals an opportunity to thank them for their service. As the South Dakota legislative session continues to progress, the Government Affairs Committee will continue to follow several bills with potential to impact credit unions currently receiving action in both chambers.