Ohio, Alabama New Focus on Public Funds Bills
The national statehouse push by credit unions to win lawmaker support for enabling public funds deposit bills has moved to Ohio and Alabama.
As credit union leaders stepped up grassroots advocacy, the Ohio banking lobby renewed its attack from a year ago in urging the House and Senate to turn back bills on grounds CUs are becoming too bank-like, should be subject to the Community Reinvestment Act and because of the tax-exempt status should not hold public funds.
Hearings in the Ohio House on an industry-backed bill permitting CUs to accept public funds up to the $250,000 insurance limit are expected after lawmakers return March 12 following a recess.
“Bankers are at it again — doing their best to derail state and federal legislation that would strengthen your ability to serve communities,” the Ohio Credit Union League told its members as it joined the CUNA campaign supporting capital supplemental bills in Congress.
The league said the industry remains locked “in a war” at the federal and state levels against banks on these issues.
Meanwhile, in Alabama, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions said it, too, is mobilizing this session with companion bills in the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee.
The LSCU said municipal executives have been calling on members of the two committees about the bills in a follow up to a letter-writing campaign by CU leaders asking the Alabama legislature to allow CUs to accept public deposits.
“The league lobbying team is working with members of the legislature to make sure they understand the bill, and providing them with factual information that refutes the banks arguments,” said a spokesman. While hearings have not been scheduled, the league said it is optimistic that it will be brought up this session.
“This is a new issue for many members of the Alabama legislature so it requires a great deal of education in the statehouse,” the spokesman.