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Fla. wraps up state GAC with official visits
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (3/28/14)--The Florida Credit Union Association Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), held Tuesday and Wednesday, featured interaction with lawmakers, regulators, the media and award presentations.
The first day of the GAC was dedicated to visits with lawmakers (eSignal March 25 and March 26). The primary issues stressed by credit union representatives were public deposits, data security, financial literacy and regulatory relief. Forty-seven attendees made 27 visits with legislators that included Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Destin) and House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel), among others.
Click to view larger image From left, Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah) accepts the Florida Credit Union Association Lawmaker of the Year Award from Jared Ross, League of Southeastern Credit Unions senior vice president of association services.
Many lawmakers also attended a reception Tuesday evening.
Earlier in the day, the state GAC kicked off with a welcome from League of Southeastern Credit Unions President/CEO Patrick La Pine.  
Wednesday featured presentations by regulators, lawmakers, cabinet members, the media and award presentations. Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah) was honored as the LSCU Lawmaker of the Year. Garcia was a sponsor of a public deposits bill in 2013, and this year he partnered with two credit unions to offer financial literacy to Spanish-speaking citizens. Incoming Senate President, Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando), provided attendees with an overview of this year's legislation and applauded credit unions for the work they do in their communities.
Click to view larger image Florida credit union representatives visited House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel) during the Florida Credit Union Association's Governmental Affairs Conference this week. From left, Art Wood, president/CEO, Railroad and Industrial FCU, Tampa; Mary Wood, LSCU board chairman and president/CEO of Florida West Coast CU, Brandon; Weatherford; Marie Peet, president/CEO, West Coast Federal Employees CU, Sarasota; Gary Vien, senior vice president, Suncoast CU, Tampa; and Kevin Johnson, executive vice president, Suncoast CU. (League of Southeastern Credit Unions photos)
National Credit Union Administration Region III Director Myra Toeppe and Florida Office of Financial Regulation Credit Unions Chief Bruce Ricca were among the speakers. Toeppe said interest-rate risk and cybersecurity are the NCUA's top priorities for 2014. She also discussed risk-based capital and encouraged credit unions to comment about the NCUA's proposed risk-based capital rule before the May 28 deadline.
Ricca described how 75% of Florida's credit unions were capitalized over 10%, while none were under 7%. He said his department would continue to encourage state examiners to work with credit unions on problems.
Tampa Bay Times Tallahassee Bureau Chief Steve Bosquet provided an overview of upcoming elections and what to expect in Florida's governor's race. He also said that the governor's race would be one of the races most watched by the national media.


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