Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is set to sign into law on Monday legislation that would provide state-charted credit unions with the option to pay board members.
The proposed legislation, introduced to the Washington legislature in January, was unopposed as it was unanimously passed by the state House on April 12 and the state Senate on Feb. 26.
According to Ted Sturdevant, Inslee’s executive director of legislative affairs and policy, Inslee is scheduled to take action on the bill on April 22.
The Northwest Credit Union Association helped draft the new legislation and endorsed it before state House and Senate committee hearings in February and March. In addition to compensating board members, the legislation also would permit credit unions to compensate members of a credit union’s supervisory committee.
The NWCUA and credit unions throughout the state support the compensation measure because of growing fiduciary and regulatory complexities that demand more time and work requirements from board members.
Supporters also said the compensation option could help attract diverse board members with specific skills that could contribute to the credit union movement.
The legislation also would allow Washington state-chartered credit unions to invest with a registered investment company or collective investment fund, give credit unions six years to partially occupy real property purchased for future expansion, and require credit unions’ board of directors to meet as few as six times a year with as least one meeting in each quarter.
If Islee signs the legislation next week, Washington will become the 11th state to break from the long-held credit union tradition of board volunteers. Last month, Tennessee became the 10th state to give state-chartered credit unions the option to pay its board members after Gov. Bill Haslam signed legislation into law.
Like Washington, Tennessee’s legislation was unopposed.Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas also permit state-charted credit unions to compensate their board members.