LINCOLN, Neb. (4/21/11)--The Nebraska legislature's passage Wednesday of a bill that would enable Nebraska credit unions to conduct savings promotion raffles as incentives for members to save for their financial future was lauded by the Nebraska Credit Union League. LB 524, introduced by state Sen. Amanda McGill (LD-26) of Lincoln, amends the Nebraska Revised Statutes. "We applaud Senator McGill and the Nebraska Legislature for passing LB 524, which will provide Nebraska's 425,000 credit union members with an innovative and fun way of saving money for their financial future," said league President/CEO Scott Sullivan. "By linking savings with prizes, we believe more Nebraskans will choose to save and develop a habit of saving that will provide them financial security and peace of mind going forward. The bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Dave Heineman. If approved by the governor, the bill will go into effect in September. "Our goal is to have a program up and running at participating credit unions in January of 2012," said Sullivan. Michigan, Maine and Rhode Island currently allow savings promotion raffles. A similar bill in Iowa failed to make it out of a House committee after bankers opposed the measure (News Now April 15). In 2009, eight Michigan credit unions, the Michigan Credit Union League, Doorway to Dreams and the Filene Research Institute piloted a "Save to Win" (STW) program. Members of the participating credit unions received one chance to win a grand prize of $100,000 for every $25 they deposited in their STW account. During the first nine months of the pilot, members opened more than 11,000 STW accounts and saved more than $9 million. Today, more than 40 Michigan credit unions offer STW accounts. In February, Michigan credit unions awarded their second $100,000 grand prize since the inception of the program.