ST. PAUL, Minn. (3/31/10)--A Minnesota bill that would have given credit unions and community banks a preference to receive state deposits has been withdrawn by its sponsor, Rep. Tim Mahoney (DFL-St. Paul). However, the overall issue is still alive in several forms, according to the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN). Mahoney's bill, which was supported by MnCUN, would have given local credit unions and community banks a price advantage in bidding to win deposits from state agencies and called for a study to determine the benefits of directing public deposits to them (News Now March 23). “As for public deposits--the preference legislation did not meet the legislative deadlines this year, and that part of the bill has died," said Mara Humphrey, MnCUN vice president-governmental affairs. "However the study portion of the bill is still moving forward through the legislative process. "This portion of the bill would investigate how to split up the state’s large accounts into smaller ones that community financial institutions could hold, and it studies the economic benefits to local units of government for using community financial institutions more," Humphrey said. Also still moving is a bill that would establish a pilot program for Minnesota state colleges and universities to transfer deposits from the state treasury to a “community financial institution” located within 25 miles of the campus. The pilot program would include eight institutions, she said. MnCUN "supports efforts to give credit unions additional opportunities to hold public funds. We believe that the legislature acknowledges the importance and potential benefits of keeping funds in local financial institutions,” Humphrey noted.