On a vote of 24-6, the Oregon Senate has adopted a House-passed bill clearing the way for credit unions to offer public funds above $250,000 starting in 2013.
The Credit Union Association of Oregon hailed the passage as an industry breakthrough since in the past such services had been blocked by the banking lobby.
During the session, CUAO emphasized competition and "financial institution choice" for local school districts and agencies in being able to work with CUs.
One key supporter, Sen. Rick Metsger (D-Mt. Hood) said as local communities seek ways to rebuild and support growth, they look to CUs as additional options.
"Public fund deposits will stay and be reinvested in local communities, as a result of CUs being able to bid on deposits," said Metsger, a former vice chairman of Portland Teachers CU and ex-TV broadcaster.
Pamela Leavitt, senior vice president/governmental affairs and public relations, noted there are 4,000 public agencies in the state now able to use CUs and for years, credit unions have been hearing from local public entities that they would like the option of choosing a credit union. The bill now goes to Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who is expected to sign it.