LANSING, Mich. – Michigan credit unions celebrated the passing of the state’s modernized Credit Union Act by the state House on Oct. 22, one day after the measure was passed by the House Commerce Committee. The vote in the House was 106-0. The measure – Senate Bill 496 – is now on its way to Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s (D) desk, and Michigan Credit Union League VP of Government Affairs Patrick LaPine said he “didn’t see a problem” with the governor signing the measure in to law. The law will be effective June 1, 2004. LaPine said Gov. Granholm supported SB 496 as it was introduced, “and none of the changes to the provisions of the bill have been significant enough to change the governor’s support of it.” `LaPine has met regularly with Gov. Granholm’s legislative staff during the legislative process leading up to the bill’s passage, and he said they are up-to-date with the bill’s provisions. Reflecting on how quickly the bill worked its way through the state legislature and was passed – it was introduced in May by Sen. Shirley Johnson (R-Royal Oak), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee – LaPine said the new Credit Union Act “puts Michigan in the forefront of having a progressive state-charter. As an association, we’re proud of how we went about getting the bill passed, it was a team effort.” LaPine said he was particularly proud of how the Michigan League was able to keep the bill moving through the Senate and House, “considering we faced major opposition from the Michigan Bankers Association.” Among the law’s provisions, it: allows greater flexibility for CUs to expand their fields-of-membership; permits CUs to serve non-members with essential financial services such as check cashing, wire transfers, money orders, and traveler’s checks; allows CUs to offer members small, short-term loans up to $1,000, payable within 30 days; and allows CUs to make larger investments in CUSOs.

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