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MCUA Grassroots efforts on highway CUs caught legislators eye
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (5/24/10)--Although Missouri credit unions did not succeed in keeping their highway credit unions’ offices at the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) facilities, their grassroots efforts on the issue caught state legislators’ attention, said the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA). On Jan. 21, MoDOT notified 10 credit unions located in MoDOT district offices statewide that they would be required to completely sever their relationship with MoDOT and move out of the facilities by Sept. 30 (The Missouri difference May 19). MCUA mounted a campaign to “undo” the action including lobbying the state legislature and the Missouri Highway Commission, informing the press and involving the state credit union regulator, the Division of Credit Unions. Although MCUA said it would have preferred a total reversal of MoDOT’s decision, it was able to get the move-out date extended to two years. State Rep. Mike Cunningham (R-District 145), chair of the House Financial Institutions Committee, introduced HCR 70, which would have allowed the credit unions to remain in MoDOT facilities indefinitely. The bill was voted out of the House 157 to 0. The highway department credit unions are to be credited with an outstanding response to the association’s call for grassroots contacts, MCUA said. One legislator, who has not been a credit union supporter in the past, told MCUA, “I have never seen an issue get legs like this so quickly.” And, the grassroots contacts remained strong throughout the session, the association said. Although the bill did not make it onto the Senate’s calendar, awareness of Missouri credit unions in the state Capitol, and the perception that MCUA can mobilize grassroots quickly and efficiently, was generated by the campaign, the association said.


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