Credit Union Priority Bills Heard in Oregon State Capitol
Posted by Ben Shuey on February 24, 2021
The Northwest Credit Union Association testified on two priority bills before the House Business and Labor Committee on Monday. Testifying in support of House Bill 3079 were Troy Stang and Pam Leavitt, Northwest Credit Union Association, Veronica Ervin, OnPoint Community CU and Hal Scoggins, Farleigh Wada Witt.
The bill makes four changes to the Oregon Credit Union Act:
- Update to Parity Provision – The bill will update the strike date (“as of” date) in the Act’s federal parity provision whenever Act is updated.
- Membership Eligibility – This bill would permit Oregon state-chartered credit unions to serve more than one community. Field of membership would still be limited to a specified geographic area that consists of one community or multiple communities, which could be delineated as counties, cities, districts, or other political subdivisions. The recommended updates in the bill will make changes to the definitions of membership in a credit union by removing the word “local” and updating the community charter section.
- Emergency Mergers – Oregon’s credit union merger statute does not currently permit mergers of a community credit union with an occupational or associational field of membership. This bill will provide the Oregon regulator with the same authority that is available to the federal regulator, with the same prerequisites for exercising the authority.
- CUSO Investments – This bill will eliminate the majority ownership requirement. This will allow credit unions to invest in a company that primarily serves credit unions or their members even if credit unions do not hold a majority stake in the company.
You can see details of HB3079 here: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Measures/Overview/HB3079
Oregon bankers, through the testimony of Oregon Bankers Association President Linda Navarro and Jeff Sumpter, President/CEO of Lewis and Clark Bank in Oregon City, testified against the proposed changes to the field of membership provisions, using decades-old arguments about credit unions’ having an unfair competitive advantage due to their tax exemption.
The second bill heard on Monday was HB3080, a bill similar to a bill introduced in the 2019 Legislative Session. The bill allows financial institutions, after obtaining a person’s permission, to swipe their driver’s license or identification card for the purpose of establishing or maintaining a contract or account. Oregon law prevents financial institutions from scanning the bar code on an ODL to then populate a loan or membership application. Testifying in support was Larry Ellifritz, Consolidated Community Credit Union, and Hal Scoggins.
The Northwest Credit Union Association is meeting with Legislative leadership and committee members to discuss next steps.