MONTPELIER, Vt.-Vermont credit unions are one step closer to achieving a modernized statute. The state’s Senate Finance Committee conducted its first read-through of the CU bill (H.149) on Tuesday, March 22. After three readings, members of the Vermont House voted to approve the bill at the end of the previous week. Prior to the House vote, H.149 passed the House Commerce Committee with eight in favor, none against; three committee members were absent from the vote because of a major snowstorm that hit the area. Committee members also ruled on numerous amendments that had been presented: * Several technical corrections to the bill language, submitted by the Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration (BISHCA), were approved unanimously. * A new amendment requiring credit union articles of incorporation to be filed with the Secretary of State’s office was approved. According to BISHCA, which presented and adapted the amendment from one of the banker proposals, the change would affect only about 10 state charters and subject those credit unions to a one-time, $75 filing fee. * In a single vote, the committee unanimously voted against 35 of the 36 banker-proposed amendments. * One banker-proposed amendment regarding field of membership was set aside. The committee, instead, may present the amendment itself on the House floor. * The “full parity” amendment proposed by the Vermont Credit Union League-the only amendment it proposed-was set aside and not voted upon. Current language in the bill allows state-chartered credit unions to exercise any rights not addressed in state law but granted to federally chartered credit unions. However, the state credit union must first notify BISHCA of its intentions and then receive approval. The league amendment sought to remove the notification and approval process. Upon reaching the House floor, several representatives sought to have the bill returned to committee so that all 11 members could review and vote on the amendments. The initiative ultimately was overruled, and the committee vote withstood. Efforts to modernize Vermont’s credit union statute failed during the last legislative session. If finally approved, the bill will represent the first major recodification of the state’s CU legislation in more than three decades. [email protected]

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