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Ohio face-to-face meetings focus on public funds bill
COLUMBUS, Ohio (1/27/14)--The Ohio Credit Union League (OCUL) continues to press its state representatives to support and pass public funds legislation--House Bill 221, also known as the Community Access and Local Government Choice Act.
OCUL's Becky Hart, senior vice president of credit union advocacy; John Kozlowski, general counsel; and Patrick Harris, director of legislative and public affairs, joined Superior FCU, Lima, staff for a lunch with Rep. Matt Huffman (R-Lima).
Superior FCU's President/CEO Phil Buell, Executive Vice President of Lending Keith Eiden and Vice President of Business Development Kurt Neeper urged the speaker pro tempore for leadership support for the legislation, citing specific examples across the state where local entities had asked credit unions to serve as their depository institution. Huffman was asked to bring banks to the negotiating table, according to the league's eLumination newsletter (Jan. 22).
The following day, Medina County FCU, Wadsworth, hosted a breakfast with House Speaker Bill Batchelder (R-Medina). Again, credit unions shared specific examples of the need for public funds legislation and asked the speaker to talk to banks about compromise legislation.
"We are on to our sixth version of public funds. Credit unions have conceded along the way, and banks continue to say 'no,'" Harris said. "We need legislative leaders to join us in standing up to the banks, and finding common ground."
Those meetings--as well as three others--led up to a dinner at which Ohio House Republicans joined representatives from 10 Ohio credit unions.
League President/CEO Paul Mercer told the gathering that credit unions are willing to and want to do more, "and we are looking for ideas on how to ensure Ohio credit unions can join 25 other states in accepting public deposits. We need help from the Ohio General Assembly."
Legislators in attendance were: Batchelder; Huffman; Barbara Sears (R-Monclova Township), majority floor leader; John Adams (R-Sidney), assistant majority floor leader; Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City), majority whip; Jim Buchy (R- Greenville), assistant majority whip; Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster), Finance and Appropriations Committee chairman; and Terry Blair (R-Dayton), State and Local Government Committee chairman.

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