TRENTON, N.J. (3/20/13)--New Jersey Senate President Steven Sweeney (D) has introduced legislation that would expand the state's Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC) to seven members and provide for representation of a minimum of two federally chartered credit unions.
Through the CUAC, state-chartered credit unions advise the state government on credit union-related matters, said the New Jersey Credit Union League. (The Daily Exchange March 20). Members are nominated by the governor and must be confirmed by the state Senate.
The legislation recognizes that federally chartered credit unions, though primarily regulated by the federal government, also are subject to state laws and regulations and should be represented on the council.
"Preserving and expanding the independent council are part of the New Jersey Credit Union League's strategic plan," Chris Abeel, league director of government affairs, told News Now.
In October, NJCUL successfully lobbied for an amendment to preserve an independent CUAC. The bill was a response to a Department of Banking & Insurance (DOBI) recommendation under an executive order from Gov. Chris Christie that directed all departments to review the duties and spending of independent state boards, commissions, authorities and agencies.
DOBI determined that the consolidation of CUAC and two other boards into one Consumer Finance Advisory Board "would best serve the needs of the citizens of this State," said the league. The new board would have included nine statutorily defined representatives with two seats designated for credit unions.
The league argued that the consolidation would lump very different financial service providers into one advisory board with duties that would be inconsistent with those individual providers' businesses and expertise, Abeel said.
"The board would have included representatives with conflicted expertise and interests," Abeel told News Now.
The new legislation, with amended language, would consolidate two of the boards while preserving an independent CUAC.