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Tennessee, Washington CU Board Compensation Bills Advance
NASHVILLE, Tenn., and FEDERAL WAY, Wash. (3/29/13)--Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam this week signed into law legislation that would allow Tennessee state-chartered credit unions to compensate board members or reimburse them for any lost wages caused by time spent in the service of the credit union.

"Whether Tennessee credit unions will remain volunteer-governed is the choice of each credit union," Trish Patterson, vice president of education and information for the Tennessee Credit Union League, told News Now.

Tennessee is the second state--with Washington the other--to consider such legislation in 2013. The legislative battle in Nashville has been going on since 2009.

The original legislative proposal gave members of a credit union board the ability to compensate themselves and to set the amount of compensation, said the Tennessee Credit Union League (News Now March 4). There was broad, general opposition to the proposal from credit unions statewide, and the league board and management indicated that opposition in meetings with legislators on the committees that would hear the bill, said the league.

However, when it became apparent the bill would pass in some form this year, the league worked to negotiate conditions required for a credit union to compensate its board members, TCUL President/CEO Fred Robinson told News Nowearlier this month.

In Washington state, legislation that would make broad governance changes--including removing the prohibition for state-chartered credit unions from paying board members and supervisory committee members, and increase credit union investment options--passed through the state Senate this week.

The legislation now is in the Washington State House Rules Committee "awaiting to be pulled to the House floor for a full vote," Lynn Heider, Northwest Credit Union Association vice president of communications, told News Now. "We are not aware of any opposition," she added, noting that no timetable has been set.

The legislation is backed by NWCUA (Anthem March 7).

NWCUA supports the legislation because compensation may help in recruiting and keeping a more diverse board, Heider told News Now last month.
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