Oregon credit unions over the Presidents Day weekend cleared a key hurdle in the clash with banks over investment of public funds following passage of a key bill by the Oregon House, 44-13.
The Credit Union Association of Oregon said it was hopefully optimistic the measure, which goes to a state Senate committee today, can pass the Senate and be signed by the governor allowing the state treasurer, school districts and local governments to invest more than $250,000 in CUs, the current limit.
"This is something that we've worked on for 10 years," said Troy Stang, president/CEO of the CUAO. Newfound support for the measure has emanated from local municipalities eager to work with CUs, said Stang.
House Speaker David Hunt (D-Gladstone), in a statement, said the bill should spur investment in local communities, helping to relieve a severe shortage of capital that can be loaned to local businesses ready to expand.
"Let's keep these dollars here at home, working in our local communities, rather than send those dollars into a deep dark hole in some other state," said Hunt. "The issue of local investments in local businesses has been identified by small business owners as the greatest impediment to expansion in Oregon."
Hunt stressed that Investments in local community banks remains both still allowed and encouraged under HB 3700.
Another representative, Cliff Bentz (R- Ontario) said he supports the bill "because I want my local governments to have the greatest scope of safe choices possible when it comes to investing taxpayer dollars. This bill expands safe choices for investment of public monies."