Vermont CU Bill Makes its Way to Senate Floor
MONTPELIER, Vt.-Vermont's Senate Finance Committee has voted to send H. 149, the state's revised credit union statute, to the Senate Floor-bringing the bill one step closer to being signed into law. Similar to the bill's approval by the House Finance Committee, the Senate Finance Committee rejected all banking lobby amendments and the one credit union amendment. It did, however, accept a few technical amendments introduced by the state's Banking, Insurance, Securities & Health Care Administration (BISHCA), which proposed the bill. While the amendments were tantamount to grammatical changes and in no way affected substance, approval of the changes requires members of the House of Representatives to revote on the bill after passage by the Senate. Vermont Credit Union League officials have praised grassroots efforts by credit union CEOs, volunteers and employees to testify before committee members and to meet with state legislators as contributing factors in what it calls the "NASCAR-like pace" set for the bill this year. Efforts to modernize Vermont's credit union statute failed during the last legislative session. Members of the banking industry also have testified in Committee meetings-presenting arguments for credit union taxation, as well as restrictions and limitations on credit unions. Consequently, Vermont's league officials encourage credit union members and representatives to remain diligent in their grassroots campaigning. "Legislators want to meet and hear from their constituents," League President Joe Bergeron said. "And, face-to-face meetings with people from home districts are critically important to the process. It's the kind of involvement we really need much more of, both in this session and for years to come." If signed into law, H. 149 represents the first major recodification of Vermont's CU statute in more than 40 years.