Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA Fully Engaged at Annual ALEC Meeting
Posted August 01, 2016 by CUNA Advocacy

Last week, CUNA Advocacy staff attended the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. ALEC counts 25 percent of state legislators among its members, and we have been sharing the credit union difference with a number of them. 

Of the many items addressed at this year’s conference, a proposed amendment to model ALEC legislation that could have jeopardized the credit union tax exemption, if implemented, was presented by a state senator reacting to information about tax cronyism.  The Tax Expenditure Transparency Act would have required:

  • A statement of legislative intent for tax expenditures within two years or face discontinuation;
  • A review to determine if the tax expenditures are meeting their legislative intent every two years; and
  • A reauthorization of tax expenditures every two years.

The measure essentially would have placed all tax exemptions, including the credit union tax exemption, on the chopping block every two years.  We worked with the Senator’s state league to help explain the importance of having certainty in the tax code.  We further explained the reasoning behind the credit union tax exemption and that the proposal’s reauthorization requirement would be problematic as our tax status would be in constant doubt.  Our arguments convinced the senator to change his proposal, removing the discontinuation threat, removing the reauthorization requirement and extending the expenditure review to ten years.

While the proposal was changed at the ALEC level, we remain concerned that other lawmakers may still introduce the original bill, with a two-year review and the discontinuation and reauthorization language.

In a presentation to the Financial Services Subcommittee, CUNA Director of Advocacy for State Legislative Affairs Shelton Roulhac outlined the numerous steps credit unions take to protect their members’ data. He also dispelled myths perpetuated by retailers that PIN is the solution to fraud and data breaches. 

In a little over a week, we will again be engaging with state lawmakers at the National Conference of State Legislators’ (NCSL) Legislative Summit. At NCSL, CUNA and league staff will host Summit attendees at the “America’s Credit Unions’”, exhibit booth and distribute high-tech giveaways bearing the “America’s Credit Unions” logo.