TRENTON, N.J. (6/1/10)--Legislation that would enable counties, school boards, municipalities and other local government entities to use credit unions as public funds depositories was passed by a vote of 3-1, with one abstention, by the New Jersey Senate Commerce Committee Thursday afternoon. “This is an important first step and helps build a real head of steam,” said New Jersey Credit Union League (NJCUL) President/CEO Paul Gentile. “It’s the result of months of effort by our contract lobbyist, league staff and numerous credit union professionals and volunteers.” Committee Chair Nia Gill (D-34) and Sens. Raymond Lesniak (D-20) and Nicholas Scutari (D-22) voted for passage, Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-39) voted no, and Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. (R-21) abstained (The Daily Exchange
May 26). Gentile, as well as league director and Garden Savings FCU CEO Lou Vetere and 1st Bergen FCU Director Rev. Vernon Walton, testified in support of the bill. The New Jersey League of Municipalities, New Jersey Association of Counties and the New Jersey School Boards Association filed statements of support but did not provide formal testimony. As expected, the New Jersey Bankers Association testified against the bill. Also attending were:
* Shawn Gilfedder, NJCUL chairman CEO of McGraw-Hill FCU, Hightstown; * Mike Reilly, league director and CEO of Central Jersey FCU, Woodbridge; * Issa Stephan, CEO of First Financial FCU, Toms River; * John Fenton, CEO of Affinity FCU, Basking Ridge; * Andy Jaeger, CEO of Credit Union of New Jersey, Ewing; * Cindy Rein-Zima, CEO of Hamilton-Horizons FCU, Hamilton; * David Snodgrass, Affinity FCU; * Beth Degnan, Affinity FCU; * Mark Malinowski, Raritan Bay FCU, Sayreville; * Edward Haubert, Raritan Bay FCU; and * Chris Abeel, NJCUL director of government affairs.
The legislation was sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), Senate Republican Conference Leader Bob Singer (R-30), Deputy Majority Leader Paul Sarlo (D-36) and Deputy Republican Conference Leader Kip Bateman (R-16). The measure moves to the full Senate for consideration. A companion bill by Rep. Fred Scalera (D-36) with seven co-sponsors is pending committee consideration in the lower house.