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MONTPELIER, Vt. – Last year’s efforts to modernize Vermont’s credit union statute failed during the last legislative session, but legislators are trying again this session. The Vermont House Commerce Committee was expected to begin discussions Feb. 2 with Tom Candon, Deputy Commissioner of the Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration (BISHCA), and BSIHCA Attorney Mark Knudsen about modernizing the statute by bringing parity between state and federal charters, as well as clarify regulator authorities and modernizing financial statutes. Former Committee Chairman Mark Young at the end of April 2004 opted to shelve the 150-page proposal written by BISHCA until the new legislative session in January 2005, stating that too much controversial language remained to be addressed. Instead, Young instructed BISHCA to revise its original proposal with language thus far approved by the committee and to reintroduce the proposal at the start of the next session. Then, in an eleventh-hour move, State Sen. Ann Cummings introduced an amendment to H.648-which already passed the House-that would have given state-chartered credit unions parity with federal-chartered credit unions, almost to the same extent as the BISHCA proposal while only removing seven words from the existing credit union law. However, Cummings-who chairs the Vermont Senate Finance Committee-ultimately decided to remove the entire bill from consideration. A new bill number for the modernization statute is expected soon.

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