ALBANY, N.Y. (3/26/10)--The New York state Senate this week passed a budget resolution including support for municipal deposit choice--a move the Credit Union Association of New York (CUANY) applauds. The Senate joins Gov. David Paterson, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and local elected officials statewide in support of the measure. It allows local government entities such as cities, towns, counties, public schools, fire districts and public libraries the option of depositing public funds in local credit unions or community savings institutions. CUANY now asks the state Assembly to join the Senate and governor in passing a “win-win” for state and local governments, and local communities and taxpayers. “Municipal deposit choice allows public funds to stay local, allows for more reinvestment in our communities, helps local governments increase revenue, and creates much-needed savings for New York taxpayers,” said William J. Mellin, CUANY president/CEO. “In short, municipal deposit choice puts more public dollars back on Main Street.” While a majority of states allow municipal deposit choice, and the Federal Credit Union Act explicitly authorizes federal credit unions to accept local government deposits, commercial banks in New York State currently hold a monopoly on such deposits. “In recent months, a variety of publications and organizations have been urging consumers to ditch their ‘big banks’ in favor of credit unions or community banks,” said Mellin. “This broad support and shift from Wall Street to Main Street, confirms that the local credit unions’ member-owner operating model works, and I’m confident that New York’s local government entities, like more and more consumers and localities in other states, will soon be jumping on the credit union bandwagon as long as they are given the freedom to do so.” Credit unions have the potential to help state and local officials in a way that doesn’t cost state or local taxpayers anything, but instead will save them money and increase the range of available financial options local governments desperately need, CUANY said. Allowing credit unions to accept municipal deposits will only strengthen the communities they serve by offering competition and an alternative to commercial banks, said the association.