The long running campaign by New York credit unions to win lawmaker support for deposit of public funds gained new ground this week with strong backing by both New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. David Paterson.
Although voting by Albany legislators on proposed bills to allow municipal units to deposit a maximum $1 million in CUs is weeks away, the Credit Union Association of New York voiced new optimism the Bloomberg and Patterson endorsements will help the cause.
"We applaud Mayor Bloomberg for his support of credit unions and recognize his leadership to achieve enactment of the necessary state legislation that will allow municipalities to have depository choice," said William J. Mellin, president/CEO of CUANY.
CUs, he said, "are well positioned to play a prominent role in the economic revitalization in New York City and to provide enhanced services to New Yorkers."
As it has in past years, the major stumbling block to getting enactment hopefully in April is the banking lobby, which has been successful in blocking CU-backed enabling bills, according to CUANY.
In his annual State of the City address Mayor Bloomberg mentioned the public funds issue as a way to support CUs serving low-income areas and help consumers avoid "hidden overdraft fees" pursued by banks. Meanwhile, Gov. Paterson called for "action to expand municipal depository choice" as part of his executive budget agenda released on Tuesday.