TOPEKA, Kan. — Amid a growing industry debate about the efficacy of a restrictive field of membership bill about to become law, attorneys for Kansas credit unions last week were grappling with definitions and interpretations to handle future branch and member expansion.

Insisting again that the FOM measure awaiting the signature of Governor Kathleen Sebelius has merit and is something that CUs can live with, the Kansas Credit Union Association said the county and population provisions in the bill would provide "unique growth opportunities" for large numbers of Kansas CUs.

A more negative scenario of the bill's impact, however, was being expressed by outside consultants and echoed in part by some of the hardest hit CUs in Wichita and Topeka, which claim the Kansas FOM-merger bill represents a sharp turnaround for FOM growth and a cave-in to banker interests.

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