Washington state credit unions were cheering what they called a legislative breakthrough – final passage of a long-sought public funds bill adopted this week by the state House 80-16.
The Senate-approved measure, which does limit deposits by local government entities into CUs up to the $250,000 insurance maximum, now goes to Gov. Chris Gregoire who is expected to sign it. The law would take effect June 8.
The Northwest Credit Union Association hailed the House vote Monday night as an industry victory allowing local agencies “to invest their tax dollars locally and support financial institutions that reinvest in their communities.”
The trade group contends there is a positive Northwest trend since public funds legislation has also been progressing in the Oregon legislature. Pro-CU ordinances on keeping funds in CUs also have been put forward by city leadership in both Seattle and Portland.
“Theses legislative changes in the two states rectify a near-monopoly on some aspects of our financial markets,” said NWCUA President/CEO John Annaloro. “All government-chartered financial institutions are now available to advance the communities of our region.”
The Washington state bill cruised through the Senate on a 43-2 vote Feb. 9 where it received bipartisan backing from members of the Senate Financial Services and Insurance Committee.
In 2011 the House passed a similar public funds bill but it died in Senate committee.
On the heels of Bank Transfer Day in November, Seattle City Council unanimously adopted a responsible banking ordinance that called on the city to examine its banking and investment practices. A similar ordinance was advanced in Portland.