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Legislative bus tour visits Maine league praises CUs
PORTLAND, Maine (2/2/12)--A bus tour designed to give state lawmakers a flavor of businesses and organizations across Maine pulled in Jan. 12 for a visit with the Maine Credit Union League, which was one of the sponsors of the tour.

Maine's House Assistant Minority Leader, Teresea Hayes, poses with Phil Moreau, president/CEO of Rainbow FCU and chair of the Maine Credit Union League's Governmental Affairs Committee at the Maine Development Foundation's Legislative Bus Tour. The league was a sponsor of the visit.
The league hosted a dinner and reception for nearly 60 legislators and guests during the Maine Development Foundation's Legislative Bus Tour. Legislators visited with attendees, received an update on credit unions and asked questions about credit unions' perspective on issues.

During the event, Maine House Assistant Majority Leader Andre Cushing III noted  he is "a proud member of Maine Savings FCU, which is located in my hometown of Hampden, and I see first-hand the benefits that they provide to members and the community," reported the league in the February monthly newsletter, News&Views.

House Minority Leader Teresa Hayes told the group, "I love my credit union and the services it offers."

Among the lawmakers attending were two credit union volunteers: Rep. John Picchiotti, board chair at KSW FCU, Waterville, and Rep. Ray Wallace, a member of the Supervisory Committee at Maine Highlands FCU, Dexter.  Both reiterated how supportive the league and credit unions are in the legislature.

Maine State Rep. Andre Cushing III, assistant house majority leader, was among lawmakers attending the Maine Credit Union League's dinner and reception for the Maine Development Foundation's Legislative Bus Tour. He is pictured here with Quincy Hentzel, the league's director of governmental affairs. (Photos provided by the Maine Credit Union League).
Rep. Wes Richardson, chair of the House Insurance and Financial Services Committee, noted the  league's and Maine credit unions' interactions with his committee.  "You do a great job and are well-respected in Augusta." Rep. Joan Nass, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, added that "Maine credit unions are such great advocates for consumers, and are always willing to work with me on important issues."

At the event, league President John Murphy highlighted credit unions' role in Maine's economy, noting they help 615,000 members and employ more than 2,100 full-time and part-time employees. He compared credit union statistics to those cited before a similar legislative bus tour in 2009. From January 2009 to September 2011, credit unions increased loans outstanding by $260 million to $3.6 billion, and members deposited an additional $800 million into credit union savings accounts.

"The increase in lending during the period when other lenders were pulling back, and the significant increase in deposits as consumers staged a very quick 'flight to safety,' clearly demonstrate the important role that Maine credit unions play in our economy," Murphy said.


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