Public Funds Bills Make Progress
State leagues, hoping to take advantage of the soured-bank climate, are making new legislative gains this week in moving along enabling bills allowing deposit of public funds in credit unions.
On Monday, as expected Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed into law a measure effective in two years removing the current $250,000 limit on public fund deposits a CU can receive. The bill had been shepherded through both chambers by the Credit Union Association of Oregon during a shortened February session.
In New Jersey, attention was being focused on the State Assembly following reintroduction of an enabling bill in the state Senate by its president, Steve Sweeney, which would amend the Government Unit Depository Protection Act to permit counties, school boards, and municipalities to utilize CU's as depositories.
Sweeney originally introduced the legislation in the 2008-09 session when he was majority leader. He also authored legislation enacted last year that allows the state's director of investments to invest state cash management and pension funds in federally insured instruments offered by both banks and credit unions, the first time NCUSIF was given parity with FDIC in New Jersey law.
Despite the success in Oregon, early progress in New Jersey and New York, there still have been noteworthy defeats including the shelving of a bill in the Minnesota legislature to give "preference" to CUs and small community banks on state funds now held by U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.