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From Northwest Credit Union Association

Governor Kitzhaber Signs Oregon Credit Union Act Improvement Bill

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has signed SB 520 into law. The measure updates the Oregon Credit Union Act.

Acting quickly to acknowledge overwhelming legislative support for a bill updating the Oregon Credit Union Act, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber signed the legislation this week.

The Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) backed bill was the result of recommendations by the Oregon State Model Act Subcommittee, chaired by Scott Burgess, president/CEO of Rivermark Community Credit Union.

Northwest credit unions collaborate to regularly upgrade their state credit union acts. They enjoy strong relationships with state legislators and are able to garner the necessary support.

“The sub-committee put a tremendous amount of work and analysis into the legislation signed by the Governor, and we’re very pleased with the outcome,” said Burgess. “As the Chairman of the sub-committee, I know I speak for the group in saying that we’re all particularly proud that, in Oregon, we routinely open up the Credit Union Act to seek out legislative changes that will help Credit Unions better serve their members in these challenging times.”

The updated Oregon Credit Union Act will:

  • Broaden Oregon’s parity authority by allowing Oregon credit unions to invoke parity with out-of-state credit unions and streamline the process for invoking parity with federally chartered credit unions.
  • Clarify the role of the supervisory committee in governance-related matters.
  • Extend additional liability protection to credit union directors and officers.
  • Remove the wording in Oregon law which requires the board to “perform other duties as the members of the credit union from time to time direct and perform or authorize any action not inconsistent with this chapter and not specifically reserved by the bylaws for the members.”
  • Remove language in Oregon law which permits a credit union to employ a Chief Operating Officer/President and a Security Officer.
  • Make the declaring of dividends a delegable power under Oregon law; and Increase the loans to one borrower limit to the larger of $100,000 or 15 percent of a credit union’s equity.

The updates to the Act take effect January 1, 2014.

Quick passage and signing of SB 520 is a positive milestone for credit unions as state budget issues and legislation impacting other industries is still pending. The state Constitution mandates that the legislature complete its work by July 13.

 

Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team:

Jennifer Wagner, Vice President of Legislative Advocacy
Mark Minickiello, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Pam Leavitt, Policy Advisor, Oregon State Advocacy & Grassroots

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