Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a new law Monday that gives state-chartered credit unions the option to pay board members.
“He (the governor) did say he thought it was a good bill…and congratulated everyone who worked on it,” said David Postman, executive director of communications for the governor’s office in Olympia.
The Northwest Credit Union Association helped draft the new legislation and endorsed it before state House and Senate committee hearings in February and March. Introduced to the Washington legislature in January, the legislation was unopposed as it was unanimously passed by the state House on April 12 and the state Senate on Feb. 26.
In addition to compensating board members, the new law will permit credit unions to compensate members of a credit union’s supervisory committee.
The NWCUA and credit unions across the state supported the compensation measure because of growing fiduciary and regulatory complexities that demand more time and work requirements from board members, the league said.
Supporters also said the compensation option could help attract diverse board members with specific skills that could contribute to the credit union movement.
In addition to board compensation, the new law allows 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.
Washington has 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 a new law in March.
Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas also permit state-chartered credit unions to compensate their board members.