SALEM, Ore. (3/26/13)--At Oregon Credit Union Day Wednesday at the Oregon Capitol in Salem, State Speaker of the House Tina Kotek (D-44) joined State Treasurer Ted Wheeler and Department of Consumer and Business Services Director Pat Allen in addressing the group and expressing praise and support for the state's credit unions, said the Northwest Credit Union Association.
Nearly 300 credit union advocates representing Oregon's credit unions were present to talk about the credit union difference and meet with 88 of 90 state legislators (NWCUA's Anthem Recap March 22).
Kotek said she has not been swayed by banks' recent lobbying efforts. "I understand where they're coming from," Kotek said with regard to the three bank lobby-backed bills currently under consideration. "The reality is, we don't need them."
The three bills in the Oregon legislature would impose an excise tax on large credit unions as well as require Community Reinvestment Act-type disclosures from credit unions about their service to low-income residents (News Now March 14).
Kotek encouraged credit unions to continue serving the public and to fill a need wherever possible. "You have a role," she said, pointing to examples such as proactively helping members avoid foreclosure and to credit unions' financial literacy outreach.
Wheeler and Allen spoke at a reception at the Salem Convention Center. Wheeler has been a champion for financial education and for the way credit unions provide it, saying he admires the movement's work and its partnerships with organizations such as JumpStart, NWCUA said.
"We want to help you be successful in any way we can," Wheeler said. "We want to partner with you to raise the financial IQ in Oregon."
Also, the state Treasurer's office will administer a public funds program for credit unions, which launches Monday, Wheeler said
At that time, all of Oregon's public entities--which include city governments, schools and fire departments and many others--will be allowed to deposit funds in their local credit unions (Anthem March 19).