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Michigan New York CUs talk MBLs more with lawmakers
LANSING, Mich., and ALBANY, N.Y. (8/31/11)--Credit unions in New York and Michigan were busy during the past week, advocating lifting credit unions' member business lending (MBL) cap and discussing other issues with members of Congress, who were back in their districts during the August recess.
Buffalo, N.Y., areas credit unions and the Credit Union Association of New York (CUANY) met with U.S. Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul (D-N.Y.) at her office in Williamsville, N.Y., to discuss credit union issues such as lifting the member business lending cap. Pictured are, from left: William J. Mellin, CUANY president/CEO; Marsha Brauer, Clarence Community & Schools FCU; Edward Sandell, Cornerstone Community FCU; Hochul; Simone Fancher-Rowan, Clarence Community & Schools FCU; Jim Budde, Cornerstone Community FCU; and Laurie Baker, The Summit FCU. (Photo provided by the Credit Union Association of New York)
The Credit Union Association of New York (CUANY) and representatives of credit unions from the greater Buffalo area met with U.S. Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul (D-N.Y.) at her office in Williamsville, N.Y. The visit was part of CUANY's initiative to meet with all of New York's freshman representatives. Eight representatives from Clarence Community & Schools FCU, Cornerstone Community FCU and The Summit FCU discussed issues impacting the area and their credit unions, and discussed the Small Business Enhancement Act (S. 509 and H.R. 1418) currently before Congress. The measure proposes raising credit unions' MBL cap to 27.5% of assets from the current 12.25%. The group shared statistics from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), noting that in the first year of enactment, the law would help credit unions pump $13 billion into the economy for business loans, creating more than 140,000 new jobs without cost to taxpayers or the government. Hochul, who said her focus is on creating jobs and helping small businesses succeed and grow, indicated she would further study the credit union MBL bill. According to William J. Mellin, CUANY president/CEO, who also attended the meeting, "Rep. Hochul gained a better understanding of credit unions and how they serve their members and communities." In Michigan, three separate meetings with congressmen were held during the past two weeks, according to the Michigan Credit Union League (Michigan Monitor Aug. 29).
U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) met with credit union leaders in Jackson, Mich., where they discussed the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act. Credit unions involved were CP FCU, EECU and Monroe Community CU. (Photo provided by Michigan Credit Union League)
CP FCU, Jackson, Mich., hosted a discussion on Aug. 22 with U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.). Attendees included CP FCU staff and leaders from Jackson-based EECU and Monroe Community CU, Monroe. Credit union leaders noted the importance of making more credit available to small businesses and shared examples of how local credit unions continue to help their small business members with credit needs. More than 50 credit union leaders gathered Aug. 19 in Lawrence, Mich., to host the annual Greater Southwest Chapter legislative breakfast reception with U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.). Upton discussed his recent appointment to the congressional "Super Committee" that will address how to reduce the federal deficit by more than $1.3 trillion. He will join fellow Michiganite, U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) on the committee.
More than 50 credit union leaders heard U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) speak at a chapter legislative breakfast in Lawrence, Mich. Aug. 19. (Photo provided by the Michigan Credit Union League)
Upton, who is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, updated attendees on issues that could impact the business climate in Michigan. Participants asked questions on federal topics of interest to credit unions. Upton continues to be a strong credit union supporter, said the league. "As a credit union member for more than 30 years, I can say my credit union has always treated me well," Upton told the group. Credit unions also gathered at Lake Michigan CU's headquarters in Grand Rapids on Aug. 23 to discuss the MBL measure in Congress with U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.).
Member business lending was a key topic in a discussion between credit unions and U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) during a meeting at Lake Michigan CU headquarters Aug. 23 in Grand Rapids, Mich. (Photo provided by the Michigan Credit Union League)
Attendees included representatives from LMCU, Kellogg Community FCU, Rockford Community FCU, Preferred FCU, Option 1 FCU, and My Personal CU. They discussed the increasing need for small business credit and the challenge in justifying costs associated with developing a small-business lending program with the current 12.25% of assets cap on MBLs. The group told Amash that more than 140 credit unions offer small business loans to their members and that H.R. 1418 would make millions of additional credit union capital available to small businesses in Michigan. Amash also discussed core components of his recent proposal for a balanced budget amendment and answered questions from the credit unions.


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