Removing Barriers Blog

2016 Election: Focus on the States
Posted November 03, 2016 by CUNA Advocacy

Because of our 360-degree approach to advocacy, we are watching the 2016 election from a number of vantage points. In addition to the races for control of the White House and Congress, we are closely monitoring the contests for control of the state houses. While Washington, D.C. is the seat of power, the policy innovation occurs in the states. The 244 bills enacted in Congress pales in comparison to the over 47,000 bills that have been enacted in the states. At the height of the 2016 legislation session, we were tracking over 10,000 credit union-related bills.

Currently, Republicans control 67 of the nation’s 99 legislative chambers, and Democrats control 31 (Nebraska is unicameral and nonpartisan). Races in 44 states (86 chambers) will be held featuring more than 10,000 candidates for 5,915 seats. There are also 12 gubernatorial contests and over 150 ballot initiatives. Regardless of the outcome, the CUNA/League system is well positioned to engage with lawmakers to advance and protect credit unions in every state.

Our focus on elections at the state level is also important because today’s state lawmakers often go on to serve at the federal level. Half of our Presidents were state legislators prior to their accession to the Oval Office and nearly half of our current House and Senate members are former state lawmakers.  That number could rise next week, as 26 state lawmakers are candidates for the House and Senate. Eleven of them have been identified as pro-credit union and are being supported by CULAC. 

As always, we will track the developments and continue to provide updates.