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Washington Governor Signs Board Compensation Bill
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. (4/24/13)--Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Monday signed Senate Bill 5302, which will allow credit unions to offer board compensation and other updates to the state Credit Union Act. The changes will take effect July 28.

Click to view larger image Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, seated, is flanked by representatives of credit unions and the Northwest Credit Union Association supporting Senate Bill 5302, updating the Washington Credit Union Act. Inslee signed the bill into law Monday. (Photo provided by the Northwest Credit Union Association)
The updates were identified by the Washington Model Act Subcommittee and are designed to advance the charter and operating environment for credit unions in the state, said the Northwest Credit Union Association, which worked on drafting the bill and backed the bill (Anthem April 23).

NWCUA's regulatory and compliance teams will disseminate information on any rulemaking by the Washington Department of Financial Institutions, said Mark Minickiello, vice president of legislative affairs.

"It's inspiring to see what we can accomplish when we commit to advocacy and build good relationships with our lawmakers," he said. "It's an ongoing process, but as the results from this past year demonstrate, when credit unions get involved in advocacy, great things can happen."

April 28 is the last day allowed for the 105-day regular legislative session. NWCUA pointed out there are three budgets--operating, capital, and transportation--to negotiate and pass before that deadline.

Inslee is the second state governor within a month to sign into law a measure allowing credit unions to compensate board members. Last month Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed a law that  allows state-chartered credit unions to compensate board members or reimburse any lost wages from time spent serving their credit union (News Now March 29).

Key measures of the new law:

  • Creates more flexibility for credit unions investing in real property by allowing up to six years for use of unimproved property or three years for improved property;
  • Allows credit unions to invest in mutual funds made up of securities already otherwise permitted for credit union investment;
  • Clarifies that a credit union need not divest itself of an investment if permissible when made and the nature of the investment changes making it impermissible;
  • Removes the requirement that a credit union board meet monthly and allows for a minimum of six meetings per year, one at least quarterly;
  • Gives credit unions greater flexibility in the timing requirements of calling a special membership meeting, by extending the notice from no longer than 30 days, to no longer than 90 days;
  • Removes the prohibition on board and committee compensation and gives the state regulator authority to conduct rulemaking concerning reasonable director compensation; and
  • Changes the merger vote requirement to a simple majority vote from the current two-thirds majority requirement.


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