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CUs Active In Districts, Meeting With Lawmakers
MADISON, Wis. (11/5/13)--Credit unions are taking every opportunity to meet with federal and state lawmakers on their home ground to discuss issues such as the tax status, regulatory burden, supplementary capital and more.  And legislators are taking notice.
 
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) told credit union leaders at a legislative breakfast in KALSEE CU, Kalamazoo, that he supports credit unions on their key federal issues including government-sponsored enterprise reform, regulatory relief and expanded member business lending. (Photo provided by the Michigan Credit Union League).
For example, before deciding on whether to support a delay in qualified mortgage (QM) rules, U.S. Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio), a freshman congressman, had his aide check with the Ohio Credit Union League to get the credit union perspective, said the league (eLumination Newsletter Oct. 30).
 
League Director of Public Affairs Patrick Harris voiced credit unions' support for the delay and shared that the new mortgage rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau topped the list of concerns discussed at the league's recent statewide Town Hall dialogues because they add to an already overwhelming regulatory burden, said the league. (See Related News Now article, CUNA: QRM Definition Improves, But Concerns Remain. Use the link.)
 
"The CFPB rules are unclear and massive and the implementation time is much too short," Harris said. "A delay is not only wise, but necessary." To build support for the delay, the league contacted every member of Ohio's congressional delegation to request their support. Several members of Congress from Ohio have signed a letter to CFPB urging the delay.
 
Click to view larger image Michigan State Sen. Mike Kowall (R-White Lake Township) was among the 200 state lawmakers and staff who attended the Michigan Credit Union League's Capitol Day at the House Office Building in Lansing Oct. 29. (Photo provided by the Michigan Credit Union League).
In Kalamazoo, Mich., U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) reaffirmed his support for credit unions' key federal issues such as government-sponsored enterprise reform, regulatory relief for credit unions and expanded member business lending. He spoke before 50 credit union leaders, legislators and league officials at a legislative breakfast hosted by KALSEE CU in Kalamazoo. Attendees included Reps. Bo Genetski, Al Pscholka, Margaret O'Brien and Sean McCann, and Sens. Tonya Schuitmaker, John Proos and Jeff Wiggins from Rep. Aric Nesbitt's office (Michigan Monitor Nov. 4).
 
Also in Michigan, about 75 credit union leaders from throughout Michigan turned out Oct. 29 for the Michigan Credit Union League's Capitol Day (Michigan Monitor Nov. 4).  The biennial grassroots lobbying event allows credit unions the opportunity to share lunch with more than 200 state lawmakers and staff, and discuss industry issues, such as the principal residence exemption on foreclosed properties, blight reforms, card skimming, foreclosure process reform and real estate document copies, said the league.
 
Ken Ross, league executive vice president and chief operations officer, accepted resolutions from the state House and Senate in honor of credit unions' dedication to the more than 4.5 million members in Michigan. State Sen. Mike Nofs (R-Battle Creek) and state Rep. Jeff Farrington (R- Utica) sponsored the resolutions and participated in the presentations.  Also attending:  House Financial Services Committee Chairman Mike Callton (R-Nashville) and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Darwin Booher (R-Evert).
 
Pennsylvania State. Rep. Matt Gabler (center) visited Timberland FCU in DuBois, Pa., to discuss current issues in his district and in the state. The event was hosted by the credit union and CEO Carrie Wood, third from left. (Photo provided by the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association)
"The large attendance by lawmakers shows that the Michigan Legislature views credit unions as an important part of our state economy and vital for consumers as trustworthy financial service providers," said MCUL CEO David Adams.

And in Du Bois, Pa., $58 million asset Timberland FCU hosted a meet and greet with state Rep. Matt Gabler (R-75) at its office.  Gabler serves on the House Finance Committee, a key committee for credit unions, said the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (Life is a Highway Nov. 5). During the event Timberland FCU CEO Carrie Wood and other participants shared what their credit union is doing in the 75th District and learned more about what the committee and State House have planned for the remainder of the year.
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