COLUMBUS, Ohio (1/22/08)--The Ohio Credit Union League (OCUL) presented testimony in support of a bill to modernize the administration, operation and governance of Ohio’s state-chartered credit unions. John Kozlowski, OCUL general counsel, testified Jan. 15 before the Ohio Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee in favor of Ohio Senate Bill 247. The legislation’s new provisions were not in the 2006 Credit Union Member Service Powers Bill (HB 81). SB 247 provisions relate to operational issues, such as ballots, merger requirements, payable-on-death accounts, record keeping and representation requirements for the Ohio Credit Union Council (eLumination Newsletter Jan. 16). The bill sets forth time limits on how long certain records should be kept by a credit union, eliminates the written ballot approval and proxy process by the Superintendent of Credit Unions each time a ballot is used for voting--provided the ballot format complies with guidelines from the superintendent--and sets criteria when an election is not necessary, Kozlowksi testified. The bill also provides additional protections for credit unions on payable-on-death accounts and the use of safes, vaults, safe deposit boxes and night depositories by limiting liability on handling and releasing funds or other assets, Kozlowski said. Among other provisions in the bill are merger requirements modified to allow member approval based on a majority vote--not a two-thirds vote--and reasons for when the superintendent can waive a member vote. “We believe that the purpose of this bill before you today continues to address the needs of credit unions that will help them continue to operate more effectively and efficiently now and in the future,” Kozlowski concluded in his testimony. Also testifying on behalf of credit unions was KEMBA Financial CU CEO Jerry Guy.