ANAHEIM, Calif. – As expected, leaders of the California and Nevada Credit Union League CU Leadership Summit took time during grand assembly sessions to discuss state and federal legislative issues and lobby efforts. During the morning session, employees of the Leagues’ state and federal governmental affairs divisions updated delegates on the latest news from Sacramento and Washington, D.C. Kelly Purcell, Director of Federal Governmental Affairs, informed the audience that due to unexpected expenses to fund hurricane relief efforts, a funding shortage in Washington, D.C. is providing credit union foes with an opportunity to push credit union taxation agendas. Purcell said that U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA), a known supporter of the banking lobby, has “a perfect opportunity to push credit unions as a way to make up the gap in funding.” To assist credit unions in combating this latest attack, Purcell urged those in the audience to promote the League’s Connect for the Cause Web-based advocacy program, which allows credit union employees and members to identify their elected officials and communicate with them their opposition to credit union taxation. Purcell also announced that the league recently recruited CURIA co-sponsor, Susan Davis (D-Calif.), Including primary sponsor Ed Royce (R-Calif.), the bill now has the support of 101 members of Congress. Ron Fong, Director of State Governmental Affairs, discussed personnel changes at the California Department of Financial Institutions, including an upcoming maternity leave for Beth Dooley, Deputy Commissioner of the credit union division. Fong said the DFI plans to hire someone to take over Dooley’s duties while she’s on leave. Political Finance Director Katie Newton announced that the federal election commission recently approved payroll deduction as a way to raise money for federal PACs, which allows the league to ask members of credit unions to donate a small percentage of their paycheck. “If you consider we have 454 members in our association, and if just $100 came from each credit union each month, we would surpass the half million mark quite quickly,” Newton said. In keeping with the day’s message that the banking lobby is on the march, Newton added that the ABA is already utilizing the payroll deduction plan with its members. League Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Bob Arnould concluded the update, saying the trade group is working the offensive, promoting CURIA and other regulatory measures, and working on the defensive, battling those who oppose credit unions, Arnould stressed the need for delegates to educate staff on industry issues, saying, “Banks have 200,000 employees in California and Nevada, and they are getting them involved right now.” -

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