COLUMBUS, Ohio (6/7/10)--The Ohio Credit Union League is opposing a bill in the Ohio legislature geared to help small businesses raise capital, because the bill excludes credit unions. Members of the Ohio House of Representatives had introduced a small-business initiative to create the Small Business Working Capital Loan Program. House Bill 521 would authorize the state to deposit up to $100 million into eligible lending institutions that have agreed to loan the money to small businesses (e-Lumination Newsletter June 2). Prior to the legislation’s introduction, the league discussed credit unions’ inclusion in any economic initiatives with House and Senate leadership, Gov. Ted Strickland’s administration and key legislators, the league said. However, credit unions were not included in the bill. As a result of being deliberately excluded, league General Counsel John Kozlowski testified in opposition of the bill and informed House members of the league’s opposition. Speaking to the House Economic Development Committee, Kozlowski said, “If the objective of the program … is truly to reach out and provide loans and credit to small businesses in Ohio, why would the state exclude credit unions, many of which are already providing loans and credit to small businesses in Ohio?” House Bill 521 was voted out of committee last week without an amendment to include credit unions. The league said it will continue working with members of the General Assembly to include credit unions in the economic initiative.