The New Jersey Senate helped credit unions reach a milestone Thursday when it passed a bill enabling counties, school boards, municipalities and local government entities to use CUs as depositories. The measure passed 28 - 7.
While a similar enabling bill is progressing through the House, the New Jersey Credit Union League hailed the Senate adoption as an historic achievement for CUs in allowing "choice, competition and the saving of taxpayer dollars."
While opponents "had tried to make this a bank vs. credit union issue," lawmakers saw otherwise, said League CEO Paul Gentile.
The Senate language had the sponsorship of Senate President Steve Sweeney, Republican Conference Leader Bob Singer and Deputy Majority Leader Paul Sarlo.
A companion bill introduced by Assemblyman Fred Scalera together with seven co-sponsors is pending consideration in the lower house.
"This is an important day for credit unions and property taxpayers alike," said Gentile. In 2009, the league had spearheaded an effort to correct what is said was an inequity in state law that restricts public entities to deposit in FDIC-insured institutions. Of the roughly $15 billion in New Jersey public funds, banks hold $13.7 billion of that amount, the League said.