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NY CUs governments urge municipal deposit choice
ALBANY, N.Y. (4/14/10)--The Credit Union Association of New York, a coalition of local government groups and leaders including Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings and Albany County Executive Michael Breslin, and several state lawmakers called on New York's state legislature Tuesday to pass legislation to allow municipal deposit choice. The group conducted a press conference at the State Capitol to bring the matter to legislators’ attention.
William J. Mellin, right, president/CEO of the Credit Union Association of New York (CUANY), thanks Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings after Jennings spoke in support of municipal deposit choice at CUANY's press conference Tuesday. Looking on are other speakers at the conference--from left, Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, state Sen. Kevin Parker and Albany County Executive Michael Breslin.
Municipal deposit choice allows government entities the option of depositing tax dollars in local credit unions or community savings banks. The state Senate already has passed a budget resolution with support for municipal deposit choice. Currently, the law gives corporate banks a monopoly on municipal deposits. Supporting organizations include the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials (NYCOM), the Association of Towns of the State of New York, New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC), the Fireman's Association of New York, the New York School Boards Association and the New York Library Association. "We appreciate our local government association partners and the many state and local leaders who stand with us today as we ask the State Assembly to join the govern and state Senate in supporting municipal deposit choice in this year's final state budget agreement,” said William Mellin, association president/CEO. “This much-needed reform allows local governments, including schools and libraries, the freedom to deposit their taxpayer dollars in credit unions and savings banks, as well as commercial banks." He noted that municipal deposit choice "will help local governments save revenue, encourage more funds to stay local through community reinvestment, and create more opportunities for local residents to take out personal or small business loans,” he said. He added: “Access to municipal deposits would allow credit unions to further reinvest in our local communities, via loans to local taxpayers and local small businesses at a time when credit and borrowing opportunities are drying up for the very people and small businesses who need it most." Albany Mayor Jennings urged the legislature "to get this through this year. Credit unions play a vital role in New York and they will give local leaders the flexibility we need, if we have municipal deposit choice. It saves the taxpayers through increased competition and that's what built America. This is something we're all looking for."
With signs of support, credit union representatives from Rome, N.Y., were on hand for the Credit Union Association of New York's press conference at the State Capitol to urge state legislature to pass municipal deposit choice. (Photos provided by the Credit Union Association of New York)
Breslin said he will "stand squarely behind municipal deposit choice. We need an opportunity to utilize all of our resources including credit unions and community banks. Vestal Town Supervisor Pete Andreasen has been "a vocal supporter for municipal deposit choice for years, because it would allow towns to seek the highest rate of return. Individuals, businesses and other entities have the ability to shop around for the best rates, why shouldn't New York's local governments have those same choices?" Several state legislators also spoke in support of municipal deposit choice. "We must pass municipal reform now, as we are looking to shift our investments from Wall Street to Main Street and try to help our local communities," said Sen. Kevin Parker (21st District, Brooklyn). Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg (20th District, Long Island), a member of the Assembly Banking Committee, said, "We need everyone's support in this effort, and I'm asking supporters of municipal deposit reform to get involved, reach out to your legislators, and help us get this passed." Assemblyman Carl Heastie (83rd District, Bronx) announced his support, adding that "increased competition will improve our rates of return on local tax dollars and benefit underserved communities." Others attending were Assemblypersons Tim Gordon, Vanessa Gibson and Michael Benjamin. Mellin asked "every New York taxpayer to call, e-mail or write their state legislators" to support municipal deposit choice.


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