AUGUST 7, 2015
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Five Addressing Compliance Issues in Congress: Five Bills to Reduce Move Forward, Getting in Front of Negative Amendment (Issue 1 of 6)
CUNA moved fast to oppose an amendment that would increase the regulatory burden, while a U.S. House committee gave its OK to five bills that would ease such burdens on credit unions and other institutions.

 
     
  Highway Funding Bill Becomes Law with New Mortgage Reporting Provision (Issue 2 of 6)
Despite opposition from the credit union industry, President Obama signed into law a highway-funding bill that included a requirement for increased reporting by all mortgage lenders.

 
  Expanding Awareness of CUs at National Conference
for State Legislators (Issue 3 of 6)

The Affiliates took part in a collective effort to boost lawmakers' awareness of credit unions and their benefits to the community during a national conference for state legislators.

 
  Connecting with Statewide Officials (Issue 4 of 6)
GCUA staff met with Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens to discuss the credit union industry and to thank him for his office's guidance on the recently passed transportation network insurance standards bill.

 
  Special Election Runoffs Next Week! (Issue 5 of 6)
Special election runoffs to be held next week in Atlanta, Bonaire and Ocilla will decide who will claim the last remaining seats in the Georgia House of Representatives.

 
  Credit Unions in the News (Issue 6 of 6)
The credit union message is getting out, as evidenced by coverage of the industry in a wide range of media outlets, from newspapers to magazines to the broadcast media.

 
 
 
Addressing Compliance Issues in Congress: Five Bills to Reduce Move Forward,
Getting in Front of Negative Amendment (Issue 1 of 6)

Red tapeCredit unions continue to urge Congress to alleviate the regulatory burdens placed on the industry, encouraging passage of bills to help ease the pain and opposing issues that would add even greater compliance (and costs). On August 5th, CUNA quickly engaged the leaders of the U.S. Senate to oppose a surprise amendment to one of the cybersecurity bills that are being considered in Washington, D.C. This amendment, by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) would have expanded NCUA’s powers in regulation of third-party vendors and CUSOs, and the issue will continue to be monitored.

From the "reducing burdens" perspective, CUToday.com reported on July 29th that the House Financial Services Committee passed five bills to reduce regulatory burdens on credit unions and others. These bills are:

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U.S. CapitolHighway Funding Bill Becomes Law with New Mortgage Reporting Provision (Issue 2 of 6)

President Barack Obama signed the three-month extension of highway funding bill, in which contains a provision requiring increased mortgage reporting. The U.S. Senate voted 91-4 to approve the extension on July 30th, one day after the House approved the same bill. As reported in the last edition of Creating Influence, this bill will require all mortgage lenders to report the origination date of each mortgage, amount of outstanding principal balance on the loan and the property address on Form 1098s to the IRS.

CUNA wrote to Congress earlier this month, noting that it would add to the "already staggering level of regulatory requirements while providing absolutely no benefit to credit union members." The provision would apply to returns and statements due after Dec. 31, 2016. The bill will extend spending authority for transportation programs through Oct. 29, and put $8 billion into the federal highway trust fund, which would have expired last week.

The Senate also voted to pass a long-term highway funding bill (H.R. 22), which in addition to the mortgage reporting requirements, contains a provision to extend the raised Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guarantee fees through 2025. CUNA wrote to Congress opposing the provision, and in support of an amendment that would have removed the fee extension. However, the House is on its August recess and will not hold votes until Sept. 8. The Senate is scheduled to be in session until Aug. 10, and will recess until Sept. 7.
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Dickson
Brandee Bickle, GCUA, and State Rep. Tom Dickson (R-Cohutta)
Expanding Awareness of CUs at National Conference for State Legislators (Issue 3 of 6)

Understanding what makes credit unions unique as not-for-profit financial cooperatives is an important point for consumers and media to grasp, but also for legislators to advance the credit union industry. As such, GCUA regularly educates the media, consumers and legislators on the positive impact credit unions have in the communities they serve and helping people afford life. During the week of August 3rd Georgia was part of a collective effort to educate state elected leaders during the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), a gathering of thousands of state legislators from all across the country.

GCUA, along with various other state credit union leagues and CUNA, was on hand to educate the hundreds of legislators and their staff on the credit union difference, the number of credit union members in their respective states, and the positive impact credit unions make every day. This meeting was a prime opportunity to connect with legislators from Georgia, and to build relationships with individuals who vote on the bills that could impact credit union operations. A side benefit: NCSL is an event for legislators to learn what initiatives are trending in other states, and get ideas for bills to introduce back home, so it’s an ideal window to get ahead of the game for the 2016 state Legislature!







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Hudgens
From left: Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens; Brandee Bickle, GCUA; Jay Florence, Assistance Commissioner of Insurance
Connecting with Statewide Officials
(Issue 4 of 6)

On July 29th GCUA sat down with Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens (R) to discuss the credit union industry and the efforts down at the state Capitol – particularly those that touch the insurance arena. Commissioner Hudgens has held a strong understanding of the industry from his days as a state legislator, and in his statewide post as insurance commissioner he has been a good contact for a variety of issues, most recently with efforts behind the transportation network company insurance standards bill, HB 190, that GCUA lobbied heavily to pass. This meeting was also the opportunity to express thanks for his office’s guidance from the onset of the involvement on the issue. Advocacy success does not happen in a bubble, and navigating success on any bill takes having strong relationships with legislators, statewide officials and their offices, and other lobbyists – and the relationship with Commissioner Hudgens has been an asset.

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Special electionSpecial Election Runoffs Next Week! (Issue 5 of 6)

Three seats for the state House will be decided next week on August 11th; these races are all runoffs from the elections held on July 14th. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. for those districts with an election:

Atlanta election for District 80:
The two candidates who advanced to the runoff and are on the ballot are Taylor Bennet (D) and J. Max Davis (R). The seat was previously held by Rep. Mike Jacobs (R) and trends Republican, but is one of the few that has the propensity to swing in a normal election.

Bonaire election for District 146: 
The two candidates who advanced to the runoff and are on the ballot are Shaw Blackmon (R) and Larry Walker (R). The seat was previously held by Rep. Larry O’Neal (R), who resigned.

Ocilla election for District 155:
The two candidates who advanced to the runoff and are on the ballot are Clay Pirkle (R) and Horace Hudgins (R). This seat was vacated by Rep. Jay Roberts (R), who resigned.

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NewsCredit Unions in the News (Issue 6 of 6)

Credit unions continue to earn media coverage statewide and beyond. Whether it’s in a local newspaper, niche magazine or radio show, the credit union message is shared through a multitude of outlets across Georgia. Click here to see recent coverage of Georgia’s credit unions "In the News."

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