Freshman lawmakers visit CUs, leagues during break

August 26, 2015

MADISON, Wis. (8/26/15)--Lawmakers from three states took time for at-home visits with credit unions during the current congressional break.

The Utah Credit Union Association (UCUA) recently hosted Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) and three of her staff members at its office in downtown Salt Lake City. Twenty representatives from 13 credit unions and the association joined the hourlong meeting.

Scott Simpson, president of the UCUA, detailed Love on key credit union issues including data breaches, member business lending (MBL), taxation and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Love expressed interest in working to curtail the regulatory burden that credit unions face, and to ensure that Americans are not hit with any new taxes--including a tax on credit unions. She encouraged credit unions to make sure their members know and understand why the regulatory burden affects how financial institutions can meet consumer needs.

Representatives of the New Jersey Credit Union League (NJCUL) last week met with Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.). Andy Jaeger, NJCUL board member and president/CEO of Credit Union of New Jersey, joined league President/CEO Greg Michlig and Vice President of Corporate and Governmental Affairs Chris Abeel for the meeting (Daily Exchange Aug. 24).

A former state legislator, Watson Coleman is one of three freshmen in New Jersey’s congressional delegation.

During its first in-depth meeting with Watson Coleman, the league provided her with an overview of credit unions and key issues, including the credit union tax status, merchant data breaches, removing barriers to member service/regulatory reform, MBL reform and access to supplemental capital.

Following the meeting her staff informed the league that she would be submitting the paperwork to add her name to the MBL reform bill, H.R. 1188, and be reviewing other issues for similar action.

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU) facilitated a meeting among Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) and two credit unions to discuss funding for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) grants (eSignal Aug. 17). Suncoast CU, Tampa, Fla., and VyStar CU Jacksonville, Fla., talked with Crenshaw about how more credit unions are applying for the grants, using them to offer new products and services to low-income members, and helping to train staff.

Crenshaw is the chair of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations subcommittee, through which CDFI funds are granted. LSCU is working with Alabama and Florida credit unions to apply for grants.