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League Testifies Fourth Time On Elder Abuse, Signage
PORTLAND, Maine (3/18/13)--The Maine Credit Union League provided testimo­ny before state legislative committees for the fourth time in less than two weeks about pending legislation on elder abuse and signage to promote small businesses.

Quincy Hentzel, league director of governmental affairs, addressed the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Commit­tee at a Wednesday public hearing in support of L.D. 527, which would implement measures to help protect the elderly and vulnerable adults from being exploited (Weekly Update March 15).

"Abuse of elderly citizens is a very serious and extremely devastating and heart-breaking crime, and its occur­rence has unfortunately been increasing over the years," Hentzel explained to the committee. "Speaking on behalf of the credit union industry, the type of abuse we see all too often is that of financial elder abuse. Maine's credit unions have been proactive in provid­ing information, building awareness and working to help prevent elder and dependent adult financial abuse, and support any and all initiatives that aim to deter this type of behavior."

Last year, the Credit Union National Association, state leagues and credit unions coordinated efforts to curb elder financial abuse. Steps taken by those groups were detailed in a CUNA comment letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in August (News Now Aug. 22). CUNA also has conducted webinars on elder abuse.

Hentzel testified March 8 in support of L.D. 483--which would enhance the use of on-premises signs to promote small businesses.

Hentzel noted before the legislature's Trans­portation Committee that the legislation "would provide support for the many businesses in this state by allowing them greater latitude for their on-premises advertising by permitting them to use their electronic signs to their full capacity.

"In order to help build awareness for our industry, a number of credit unions across the state have already purchased electronic signs as a means of informing and promoting the products and services we offer to our members and consumers," she added. "These signs represent a significant financial investment, costing upwards of $40,000 or more."

Work sessions for the two bills have not been scheduled.
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