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Illinois CU activists unlock the vault at state Capitol
NAPERVILLE, Ill. (5/18/11)--Nearly 120 credit union leaders attended the Illinois Credit Union League’s (ICUL) recent Legislative Day.
Click to view larger image Attendees of the Illinois Credit Union League’s recent Legislative Day in Springfield were offered an impromptu tour of the state’s vault. (Photo provided by Illinois Credit Union League)
Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, a strong credit union supporter, delivered the keynote address, and offered the ICUL delegation an impromptu tour of the state’s vault. The vault, located two stories beneath the Capitol, no longer stores cash, but is used for storing valuables from unclaimed property. Brent Adams, secretary of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, and Michael Fryzel, National Credit Union Administration board member, provided attendees with an overview of the regulatory environment from both state and national perspectives. State Rep. Joe Lyons (D-Chicago) and State Sen. David Koehler (D-Pekin) also addressed the delegation, with most of their remarks focusing on the state’s fiscal challenges. Prior to Hill visits with their state legislators, participants were briefed by ICUL staff members. Steve Olson, executive vice president, general counsel and chief operating officer, and Keith Sias, vice president of state governmental affairs, provided an overview of key legislative initiatives and the current legislative environment in Illinois. Nearly 6,000 bills have been filed during the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly. The ICUL is monitoring 250 bills with a potential impact on credit unions. Of those, about 25 remain in process. As expected, several bills that would negatively impact lenders in the areas of mortgage foreclosures and collections have been introduced. ICUL has worked to defeat these bills in committees. Bills of interest to credit unions include:
* H.B. 3050, an initiative to keep components resulting from Executive Order 2004-6 negotiated as part of an agency consolidation in 2004, including maintaining an independent department of financial institutions with its own director. The league is neutral on this bill as a result of a civil penalties assessments provision proposed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The bill has unanimously passed both chambers and is being forwarded to Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn. * H.B. 2101, which clarifies the existing authority of counties to invest funds with credit unions and provides clarification within the counties code for procedures for such investments. The league supports this bill, which passed the House on April 5 and is on a third reading in the Senate.
More than 50 bills relating to the mortgage foreclosure crisis were filed during the spring session. ICUL said it has been actively involved in efforts to provide meaningful relief to Illinois homeowners impacted by the foreclosure crisis without burdening the financial services industry. The league’s approach is to attempt to fine-tune the mortgage foreclosure process, rather than penalize lenders--and, ultimately borrowers--through increased fines and penalties. Three competing bills are moving through the legislature to address foreclosures in different ways. Of the three, ICUL opposes two, because they would impose new fees, assessments and restrictions on lenders with little relief for homeowners. ICUL’s Legislative Day concluded with a reception, where more than 160 were in attendance, including credit union officials and 30 members of the Illinois General Assembly and other dignitaries. The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn May 31.


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