February 10, 2012
The Northwest Credit Union Association’s (NWCUA’s) public funds bill, Senate Bill 5913, passed the Washington State Senate on Thursday evening by a vote of 43-2 with four excused. The bill now heads to the House, where a similar public funds bill was passed last week.
SB 5913, entitled “An act relating to increasing the permissible deposit of public funds with credit unions and authorizing the deposit of public funds at federally chartered credit unions,” would increase the permissible deposit of public funds with credit unions to the federal deposit insurance limit of $250,000.
The bill’s passage comes on the heels of last week’s successful NWCUA Washington Governmental Affairs Conference, which saw approximately 100 credit union advocates from around the state converge in Olympia, Wash., with the public funds bill as a top priority. Last year’s attempt to modernize the public funds law for credit unions hit roadblocks in the Senate, so Association lobbyists were anxiously awaiting the result of yesterday’s vote.
“The strong vote in the Senate is the result of a lot of great advocacy by our members over the past year,” said NWCUA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Mark Minickiello. “To top that off, we received several key commitments from Senators to help our bill along after credit union advocates came to Olympia last week. I have no doubt that had a significant impact when Senators met in caucus before the vote.”
The Senate vote was quick. Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-44, spoke in support of the bill and concluded by simply saying, “There is no opposition. Vote yes.”
The bill will next receive a hearing in the House Business and Financial Services Committee, after which it will need to pass through the Rules Committee before being pulled to the House floor for a vote.
House Bill 1327 passed the Washington State House on Jan. 30 by a vote of 86-10 with two excused, indicating that the Senate’s public funds bill should face few if any obstacles in the House. The Senate version contains some technical language that is missing in the House version.
In addition to raising the limit for public funds deposits, the bill also allows federally-chartered credit unions to become depositaries as well. Current law only allows state-chartered credit unions to act as public depositaries.
Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team: