The Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) continued a years-long tradition in 2021, collaborating with its members to advance priority legislation in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
While protecting credit unions’ tax structures and preventing new, burdensome, regulatory barriers, the Northwest “Advocacy Army” also saw the passage of a series of significant bills beneficial to the region’s 175 credit unions and 8.1 million consumer members.
Three legislative proposals directly related to credit union operations passed in Idaho. They include:
Two priority bills which passed in Oregon include:
Credit unions and municipal governments saw key public funds legislation pass in the Washington State Legislature this session.
While the legislature adjourned before a bill to update the Washington Credit Union Act could receive a full Senate vote, the measure is already officially in the queue for the 2022 session.
NWCUA works closely with member credit unions in determining short-and long-term advocacy priorities. Every two years a State Issues Work Group (SWIG) is convened in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington to think broadly about opportunities to modernize the state’s credit union act, discuss challenges and pain points, and consider ideal legislative and regulatory flexibilities that would enhance services to members. Participants include branch and operations level professionals, legal counsel, compliance experts, CFOs, and CEOs.
In addition, NWCUA hosts a Governmental Affairs Committee in each of its states, all of which meet several times a year. In 2021, nearly 100 members were actively engaged in the GAC process.
“NWCUA, the State Issues Work Groups, and the Governmental Affairs Committees are committed to protect and evolve the best operating environment possible,” said Jennifer Wagner, NWCUAs Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy Officer. “This work is always done with the members’ best interests in mind, so consumers can choose, and do choose not-for-profit, cooperative credit unions as their trusted financial partners.”
In addition to the committee and work group process, NWCUA collaborates with a robust and engaged group of hundreds of credit union advocates who work in virtually all career levels. These advocates regularly attend training and participate in calls to action that help advance credit union policies.
Throughout the legislative session, more than 400 advocates attended virtual Credit Union Day at the Capitol events in all three Northwest states and took part in more than 200 meetings with lawmakers.
“The work of each and every advocate is key to protecting credit unions from unnecessary regulatory burdens, and in passing legislation that helps credit unions serve their members,” Wagner said.