SALEM, Ore. (4/25/11)--The Oregon Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved an update to the Oregon Credit Union Act, making several changes to the state charter. While most are viewed as “housekeeping” measures, they seek to clarify and streamline some governance processes, according the Northwest Credit Union Association, which represents credit unions in Washington and Oregon. Among the elements of SB 177, which passed by a 27-1 vote, are amended requirements for meetings of board of directors, which will permit greater scheduling flexibility. The legislation exempts standard mortgage loans to directors or senior managers from the requirement for board approval, and adds safeguards for loans to directors and senior managers. SB 177 also increases the limit for loans to and investments in credit union service organizations to 5% of assets from 2% of assets. The legislation clarifies member voting rights for mergers and outlines procedures for members to communicate on a credit union merger. SB 177 had “such strong bi-partisan support,” in the Senate, said Pam Leavitt, Oregon state legislative director for association. “We will be working very hard to get this bill scheduled in a House Committee as soon as possible,” she added. Working under strict legislative guidelines, the bill must be scheduled for a hearing and work session before the end of May.