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Alabama State GAC meets in Montgomery
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (4/5/11)--Alabama credit unions met last week in Montgomery for the Alabama State Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).
Click to view larger image At the Alabama State Governmental Affairs Conference last week were, from left, state Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster); Joe McGee, CEO of Legacy Community CU, Birmingham; Linda Cencula, Alabama Telco CU, Birmingham; and Patrick La Pine, president/CEO of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions. (Photos provided by the League of Southeastern Credit Unions)
Speaking on a variety of state and federal legislative and regulatory topics were: Ryan Donovan, vice president legislative affairs at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA); Herb Yolles, National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Region III director; Alabama Credit Union Administration (ACUA) Administrator Larry Morgan; and the League of Southeastern Credit Unions' (LSCU) governmental affairs staff. Four state legislators who have supported credit union issues, including public deposits, spent time with the group during a Legislative Outlook. They urged credit unions to visit lawmakers and provide information about legislation. Often they can't make informed decisions without knowledge from the groups the legislation would affect, the lawmakers said. Afterward, 38 lawmakers attended the GAC's Legislative Reception and interacted informally with credit unions. During the visits to the state house, credit unions addressed a variety of topics--including public deposits and interchange fees--with lawmakers. Although the interchange fee is a federal issue now, the merchants have been asking state governors to write their members of Congress. The meetings were especially important with so many new faces in Montgomery, said LSCU.
Click to view larger image Speaking at a regulatory roundtable during the League of Southeastern Credit Unions' Alabama State Governmental Affairs Conference last week in Montgomery, Ala., were, from left, National Credit Union Administration Region III Director Herb Yolles and Alabama Credit Union Administration Administrator Larry Morgan.
During the regulatory roundtable, ACUA's Morgan said he plans this year to meet with all state-chartered credit unions, beginning with the ones he doesn't already know. He encouraged attendees to contact him when they have a problem. Morgan said he's willing to work with credit unions before it's too late or to look at a regulation that might be outdated. NCUA's Yolles praised Alabama's credit unions for performing better than the national average and noted that interest-based risk is an area that could be a concern for credit unions. He urged credit unions to communicate with their examiners and to question anything they don't understand. Credit unions have rights and must feel empowered to exercise them, Yolles told the group. He also addressed the corporate stabilization plan and answered questions on that subject. CUNA's Donovan discussed CUNA's strategy for interchange and member business lending legislation. On interchange, CUNA uses a five-point plan, with the first point centering on making sure the problem is solved. In 2010, bankers spent more than $30 million in lobby efforts, compared with credit unions' $3 million, he said. Donovan urged credit unions to take part in the movement's Action Alert and rally their members because that's one area where bankers can't compete. Will McCarty, LSCU senior vice president of governmental affairs, noted that 300 bills--well below the norm--have been introduced in the 2011 Alabama Legislature session. On the regulatory side, Scott Morris, LSCU director of compliance, advised credit unions to keep up with regulation changes. During the events, Family Security CU, Decatur, received the President's Award for most overall money raised for the political action committee, and the Cheaha Chapter was presented the Leadership PAC fundraising award for raising the most money in a chapter.


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