ALBANY, N.Y. (4/21/10)--U.S. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) pushed for legislation that would lift the caps on member business lending at credit unions during an event at SEFCU in Albany. Mayor Jerry Jennings, Credit Union Association of New York President/CEO William Mellin and several other local business leaders attended the event. Credit unions are required to cap their lending at 12.25% of their assets, but would like the cap to be raised to 25% of total assets and increase the minimum business loan subject to the cap to $250,000 from $50,000. Gillibrand is working on a bill that would increase those caps to include in an upcoming small business jobs package to be drafted by Congress. “This commonsense legislation would free up lending at not-for-profit credit unions in every corner of America to small businesses,” she said. “This would give small businesses more of the capital they need to get off the ground, grow and get thousands of Americans get back to work.” Tonko added, “This bill will deliver a new and badly needed stream of capital through or credit unions, which will help new and existing small businesses invest, expand and create new jobs, and greatly improve our economic outcome.” If the cap was raised, SEFCU could provide another $260 million in business loans, said Michael J. Castellana, SEFCU president/CEO. “I thank Sen. Gillibrand for her leadership on this legislation that would help New York’s credit unions help small businesses,” Mellin said. “Not only has she lent her name to the legislation, Gillibrand has been a vocal advocate with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to see this legislation enacted. We applaud the senator’s recognition of SEFCU’s contributions to the community, and appreciate her support for credit unions across New York.” Gillibrand also has spoken at Bethpage (N.Y.) FCU and written an op-ed piece explaining why she supports lifting the caps on member business lending.