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N.C. CUs deliver good news to state lawmakers
RALEIGH, N.C. (6/1/10)--Nearly 40 credit union staff and volunteers representing all eight North Carolina credit union chapters delivered good news to lawmakers in Raleigh during the past two weeks as part of the annual State Capital Connections program.
North Carolina’s Capital Connections program saw nearly 40 credit union staff and volunteers meeting lawmakers in Raleigh, N.C. From left, are: Maurice Smith, Local Government FCU, Raleigh; State Rep. Jennifer Weiss (D-35); and Leigh Brady, State Employees’ CU, Raleigh.
The advocates shared how their credit unions are helping members cope with the effects of the recession and financial crisis (Weekly Update May 28). The meetings came as lawmakers face challenges of their own once again this year, said the North Carolina Credit Union League. High unemployment and lower tax receipts mean that elected leaders face a tough chore in putting together the state budget during the short session of the North Carolina General Assembly, the league added. “The budget deficit is once again the hot topic of conversation in Raleigh, and some tough choices will have to be made,” said Lauren Whaley, league director of legislative and regulatory affairs. “I think it was refreshing for lawmakers to get some good news from back home, and credit unions throughout the state had a great message to share.” Nearly 20 representatives from the Foothills, North Piedmont, Northwest and Western Chapters converged on Raleigh last week. The meetings with elected leaders followed visits from representatives of the Southeast, Northeast, Tarheel and Piedmont Chapters a week earlier. One consistent, encouraging message heard in all the meetings was that credit unions continue to make loans to their members, said the league. Other credit unions have helped members in other ways, including mortgage assistance.
State Sen. John Snow (D-50), left, meets with credit unions during their State Capital Connections effort in Raleigh, N.C. Nearly 40 credit union representatives met with state lawmakers during the past two weeks. (Photos provided by the North Carolina Credit Union League)
“Some of our members have lost jobs and are struggling to pay the mortgage,” Michael Spink of Local Government FCU, Raleigh, said in a meeting with State Sen. Andrew Brock (R-34) and State Reps. Lorene Coats (D-77) and Fred Steen (R-76). “Our credit union is working hard to help people stay in their homes if at all possible.” While the legislature is not thought to be close to passing any bills that would have major impacts on North Carolina credit unions, Whaley noted that the league is tracking a number of bills in Raleigh. In the meantime, visits by credit unions have great value, “since they allow us to develop and maintain relationships with people who may have to vote on credit union legislation in the future,” she said. The state faces a $1.6 billion deficit this year and an estimated $3 billion budget gap next year. “State lawmakers face some tough choices in coming years,” said Dan Schline, league senior vice president of association services. “And they will have to consider cutting some services while looking for new sources of revenue. That’s one reason why it’s vitally important for credit unions to be consistently engaged in the political process.”


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