League Advocacy reflects on 2017's state legislative sessions
Thursday, August 17, 2017
COLUMBIA, SC and RALEIGH, NC—Carolinas Credit Union League Advocacy issued this month its reports on each state's legislative session and the League's work to preserve, protect, and enhance the credit union charter. For both general assemblies, 2017 to date has been marked by swift changes and partisan acrimony.
In North Carolina, a keen focus on policy during this political climate proves to be a recipe for success.
“We screened more than 1,600 bills to find what deserved our attention and effort on behalf of you and your members,” stated Evelyn Hawthorne, VP of governmental affairs for the League. “As a result, new laws give state-chartered credit unions some flexibility in the frequency of their examinations, provide new opportunities to offer certain bond and escrow accounts, and update payable on death accounts.”
The League also warded off changes to the escheating process, including hefty fines for violations, and kept credit unions’ liens in proper priority when threatened by a bill to jumpstart energy-efficiency updates for commercial properties by pushing their financing ahead.
In South Carolina, the first year of the 122nd SC General Assembly started off with several position changes including the appointment of Governor Nikki Haley as the new U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Congressman Mick Mulvaney’s appointment to director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and the subsequent special election to fill his vacancy in which Congressman Ralph Norman (SC-Dist 5) was elected.
Much of this year’s session focused on infrastructure improvements, gun legislation, and education. While these were the main issues, the League monitored all bills with potential impact on credit unions, and led efforts to introduce legislation, such as Senate Bill 337 (SC Credit Union Act), to enhance and update the state charter.
“I cannot express enough how grateful and proud I am of the credit union movement as you exemplified cooperative grassroots, joining in [to] support our efforts for SB 337,” said Billy Boylston, VP of governmental affairs for the League. “There is still much work to be done on this legislation, but it has been clear we are stronger together.”
If anything, these legislative sessions according to Hawthorne, drive home “how important credit union-friendly lawmakers are.” The advocacy team also notes how vital it is for credit unions to remain politically engaged while taking advantage of opportunities to interact with state lawmakers. In addition to Hike the Hill this fall, the League is working with several credit union chapters to host local legislative nights, giving credit unions prime face time with legislators.
With reviews complete, CCUL Advocacy now builds its state strategies to include valued measures not enacted in 2017. The League encourages credit unions to share ongoing concerns and perspective on particular issues with Evelyn Hawthorne (NC) and Billy Boylston (SC).
2017 NC Legislative Wrap-Up (PDF)
2017 SC Legislative Wrap-Up (PDF)