COLUMBUS, Ohio (6/12/09)--The Ohio Senate passed its version of the state budget but did not include language allowing credit unions to accept public funds, despite extensive advocacy efforts by the Ohio Credit Union League and its credit unions. John Kozlowski, league general counsel, testified during a hearing of the Senate Financial and Financial Institutions Committee in favor of credit unions being able to accept public funds (eLumination Newsletter June 10). The league also delivered letters to Senate members, and sent out an action alert to generate legislative support. A conference committee is working to resolve differences between the Ohio Senate and House versions of the budget. The league said it would continue to address the issue. “It is unfortunate that, by excluding credit unions from these state-backed initiatives, Ohio’s consumers and businesses have fewer choices and less access to programs that would benefit them,” Kozlowski said. Permitting credit unions to accept public funds is a “no cost” option that can save for taxpayers money, said the league. “Even if a single dollar does not change hands from an eligible institution to a credit union, the additional competition would draw down the cost for public entities to borrow funds and increase the rate they earn on deposited funds,” Kozlowski added.