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Tenn Lawmakers Pass Bill To Allow Paid Boards
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (3/11/13)--Bills that would allow state-chartered credit unions to compensate board members or reimburse them for any lost wages caused by time spent in the service of the credit union--but not both--now await the signature of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to become law. The Tennessee Senate and House passed the legislation Thursday.

A similar bill, passed in the Washington State House on March 5, is headed to a State Senate committee hearing.  

The original Tennessee legislative proposal simply gave members of a credit union board the ability to compensate themselves and to set the amount of compensation, said the Tennessee Credit Union League. There was broad, general opposition to the proposal from credit unions statewide, and the league board and management reflected that opposition in meetings with legislators on the committees that would hear the bill, the league told News Now at the time (News Now March 4).

However, when it became apparent the bill would pass in some form, the league worked to negotiate four conditions that would be required for a credit union to compensate its board members, TCUL President/CEO Fred Robinson told News Now earlier this month.

In the legislatoin, the decision to reimburse or compensate is optional based on the credit union's philosophy to be governed by volunteers or compensated board members.

In Washington state, legislation that would make broad governance changes, including removing the prohibition for state-chartered credit unions from paying board members and supervisory committee members, and increase credit union investment options passed Tuesday in the State House, according to the state's legislative website.

HB 1582 now awaits a hearing before the Senate Financial Institutions, House and Insurance Committee. SB 5302's hearing before the House Business & Financial Services Committee is scheduled for Thursday, when it will be considered for possible executive action (Anthem March 7).

Both bills were backed by the Northwest Credit Union Association (Anthem March 7).

NWCUA supports the bills because compensation may help in recruiting and keeping a more diverse board, Lynn Heider, NWCUA vice president of public relations and communications, told News Now last month.
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