Activists touted community support, sought support for bills at GAC
The League’s State Government Affairs Conference, held in January, highlighted credit unions’ commitment to their members and communities. Approximately 200 Activists discussed with lawmakers in the state Capitol how credit unions strive to be socially responsible and asked for their support for legislation that would increase credit unions’ charitable giving capacity. Activists were able to watch as the State Senate unanimously passed the measure.
Senate Bill 356 and its companion bill,
Assembly Bill 468, aim to update a statute unchanged since its
establishment 40 years ago. Both have garnered strong bipartisan support
and are co-sponsored by 33 lawmakers.
The legislation would double credit
unions’ charitable giving capacity from .5% of their regular
reserves to 1%, and require credit unions to seek board of
directors’ approval for the amount and causes that receive the
Legislators appreciated receiving a bill that was easy to support. After unanimous approval of the State Senate, the bill now moves to the State Assembly for consideration.
"With the down economy, charitable giving has
not kept pace with community and charity needs," said The League’s
VP of Government Affairs Tom Liebe. "As a consequence of growing
community need, credit unions are requesting greater latitude for
providing donations and contributions."
"Increasing the limitation on charitable giving in a structured manner will ensure Wisconsin’s member-owned financial institutions can continue to make significant contributions to the communities they serve," Liebe added.
Activists also shared with lawmakers The League’s REAL Solutions Scorecard for 2011, which illustrates the many ways credit unions already provide value to members and their communities year-round – including for nearly 3,000 local charities, civic groups and worthy causes.
In addition, GAC attendees received insights on federal financial institution policy and the upcoming elections. An evening reception allowed Activists to further develop relationships with lawmakers and staff that represent their credit unions and members. Young Professionals attended a pre-conference workshop for entry-level advocacy training and education. All Activists received a sample press release to send to local media along with any photos taken during their office visits.
Credit unions participating in payroll deduction, Young Professionals, first-time attendees and Members’ Conduit Account holders received discounted registration rates. Contact Sarah Wainscott for more information on how you can be a part of these programs and ease registration costs next year!
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