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Wisconsin Gov. Signs CUSO, Funds Transfers Bills
MADISON, Wis. (7/24/13)--Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed two credit union-supported bills into law at the Wisconsin State Capitol July 5.
"Over a number of years, Congress and state legislatures have created a legal and regulatory framework for credit unions that can make serving members and their communities very challenging," Tom Liebe, vice president of government affairs for the Wisconsin Credit Union League, told News Now. "Gradually undoing or correcting the crisis of creeping complexity--as a practical matter--is going to be done in increments.
Click to view larger image The Wisconsin Credit Union league's Tom Liebe, vice president of government affairs, and Sarah Wainscott, government affairs specialist  (second and fourth from left, respectively) are joined by Wisconsin State Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Rural Issues Chair Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center, third from right) and representatives from the Department of Financial Institutions and Wisconsin Bankers Association as Gov. Scott Walker (seated) signs Assembly Bill 58, which makes key credit union service organization updates. (Photo provided by the Wisconsin Credit Union League)
"Governor Walker signing two pieces of legislation recently represents more steps in the right direction and builds on Wisconsin credit unions' continued streak of passing positive legislation and killing negative proposals," he added.
Act 22 (2013 Assembly Bill 58) allows the Office of Credit Unions (OCU) to expand the list of permissible services provided by credit union service organizations (CUSOs) without going through the lengthy and complicated "Clearinghouse Rules" process.
"In many cases, the circuitous rule adoption process state agencies need to follow can be a barrier for adopting, eliminating or modifying regulations," Liebe said. "In this case, eliminating that arcane process will allow the OCU to expand the list of permissible activities of CUSOs in a matter of weeks or months instead of years."
The league worked diligently to turn back opposition of a powerful trade association to get this important change adopted, he said. Thanks to the work of Wisconsin Credit Union activists and the Assembly and Senate Financial Institutions chairs, both houses passed the AB 58 with unanimous votes, Liebe said.
2013 Act 33 (Senate Bill 116) provides clear guidance for some funds transfers for credit unions. A Dodd-Frank Act amendment left incomplete guidance for some remittance transfers. The Credit Union National Association attempted to avoid this problem when it provided a comment letter on the Reg. E amendments to implement some Dodd-Frank changes, Liebe explained. The Federal Reserve Board failed to heed CUNA's advice to avoid the problem and states have been left to adopt Article 4A of the Uniform Commercial Code, he added.
"Regulatory compliance is complicated enough without the government providing either contradictory guidance, or worse, none whatsoever," said Liebe. "While adoption of Act 33 may seem modest on its face, it helps remove uncertainty for credit unions for certain transactions."
Liebe and league Government Affairs Specialist Sarah Wainscott were present as Walker signed the bills into law.

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