ALBANY, N.Y. (1/19/10)--New York Gov. David Paterson Thursday introduced a mandate reform agenda that would ease the burden on taxpayers and local governments during the continuing fiscal crisis. One of the reform initiatives would allow local governments to bank at credit unions. The inclusion of municipal deposit legislation in the package, which accompanies the release of the governor's budget, represents a major step forward in the Credit Union Association of New York's advocacy efforts to ensure credit unions' ability to offer the service, the association said Friday. By amending several provisions of state law to provide depository flexibility, the state would allow credit unions to accept deposits from municipalities, which in turn would lower town operating expenses and save taxpayers money, said the association. "The law addressing municipal funds was enacted in 1909 before credit unions existed in New York," said William J. Mellin, association president/CEO. "The association and the credit unions of New York applaud and thank Governor Paterson for his leadership on this important issue and his commitment to offering localities flexibility to choose where they do their financial business." Currently, only commercial banks and trust companies can accept deposits from local and state governmental units, giving them a monopoly over the deposit of public funds, said the association. Municipal deposits would enable credit unions to further reinvest in their communities by offering more loans to members, small businesses and more. "This proposal is a clear indication of the governor's support for municipal deposit legislation," Mellin said. The association urged legislature to act on the mandate.