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Minn CUs find ally in new congressman
ST. PAUL, Minn. (12/12/12)--
Click to view larger image U.S. Rep.-elect Rick Nolan (D-Minn.), right, Friday discussed member business lending and supplemental capital with Minnesota credit union representatives, including, from left: Pat Pierce, president/CEO of City & County CU, St. Paul, and Tim Smith, president/CEO, Lake State FCU, Moose Lake, during a meeting coordinated by the Minnesota Credit Union Network. (Photo provided by the Minnesota Credit Union Network)
Newly elected U.S. Rep Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) has declared himself  "a big believer of credit unions," according to the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN).

"I have always been a big believer of credit unions--of your mission and of your work on behalf of consumers," Nolan said during an introductory meeting Friday with Minnesota credit unions. MnCUN coordinated the event to help form the foundation for a positive working relationship with Nolan.

Focusing on the issues facing the state's credit unions, the group highlighted the movement's advocacy efforts urging Congress to raise credit unions' member business lending (MBL) cap and to pass supplemental capital legislation.

Credit union representatives shared stories about small businesses they helped during the recession and highlighted how they could help more Minnesotans if the MBL cap were raised to 27.5% of assets from 12.25%. They told Nolan that raising the cap would create nearly 2,000 jobs in the state and enable credit unions to inject an additional $150 million available for small business loans in the state.

(The Credit Union National Association says that raising the MBL cap would generate $13 billion in new small business loans and generate 140,000 jobs in the nation.)

Nolan praised credit unions for their ideas and the role they play in their communities. He acknowledged how credit union operations differ from other financial institutions and applauded the state's credit unions for their work with small businesses.

"The congressman's values closely align with the credit union mission," said Mara Humphrey, MnCUN vice president--governmental affairs, noting that credit unions "look forward to working with him during the next congressional session."


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