OCTOBER 2, 2015
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Capitol and moon Action in Congress: GA Rep Eyes Leadership, Committee Addresses
Reg Relief (Issue 1 of 6)

Several developments of interest to the credit union industry took place in Congress toward the end of September, including a possible leadership bid by a Georgia Congressman and action on four regulatory-relief bills.

 
     
  Hike at Home in Macon Builds Relationship with Legislator (Issue 2 of 6)
Credit union leaders from two Warner Robins credit unions and GCUA met with State Sen. John Kennedy of Macon to broaden his understanding of the industry and foster influence at a personal level.

 
  In Advance of 2016 Session, State Legislature Holds Multiple Hearings (Issue 3 of 6)
A September 21 hearing on short-term rentals, involving issues that could affect mortgage lending, was among the off-session hearings in the state Legislature that are being monitored for their potential impact on credit unions.

 
  CUs Consistently Building Relationships (Issue 4 of 6)
Not all relationship-building with legislators is planned and organized, as illustrated by a recent meeting between a credit union CEO and a U.S. Representative from Georgia at a college football game.

 
  Georgia CU Leaders Attain DE Designation (Issue 5 of 6)
Two employees of Georgia credit unions were among the 46 CU professionals who recently completed Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training with the National Credit Union Foundation and earned the DE designation.

 
  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.

 
 
 
Action in Congress: GA Rep Eyes Leadership, Committee Addresses Reg Relief (Issue 1 of 6)

The last week of September held much action of interest for Georgia credit unions in Washington, D.C., with Georgia Rep. Tom Price (R-6) possibly running for leadership, and a House committee addressing four bills to help ease the burden of regulatory relief on credit unions.

On Rep. Price: When Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) announced he was going to resign his House seat and his position as Speaker at the end of October, the jockeying for a new Speaker, as well as new House leadership positions, started. Rep. Price has sent multiple signals to Washington insiders that he will run for the House Majority Leader post. The Majority Leader post is open due to current leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) running for Speaker to replace Rep. Boehner. And while Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) has been considered “next in line,” Price offers what many think is a conservative option for the Republican Party in the House - and shifting to what some media state as an “odds-on favorite”!

paperOn Regulatory Relief: Four pro-credit union pieces of legislation were addressed on September 30th in the U.S. House Financial Services Committee. These bills cover high-priority areas of regulatory relief:

Removing regulatory burdens was one of the talking points shared by Georgia credit union leaders when they met with members of Congress earlier in September, and while Congress has proven to move slowly, it is positive to see the committee pass these bills to help credit unions serve their members! Another strong point this week on regulatory relief came from House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who announced that the full House will vote next week on the Homebuyers Assistance Act (H.R. 3192) that would delay the implementation of the CFPB’s new mortgage rule and create a safe harbor protecting credit unions through February 1, 2016. The bill concerns the CFPB’s Truth in Lending Act-Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act integrated disclosure (TRID) rule, which is effective starting October 3rd.
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Kennedy
From left: John Rhea, Robins FCU; Brandee Bickle, GCUA; State Sen. John Kennedy; Cheryl Spires, Combined Employees CU; Christina O’Brien, Robins FCU
Hike at Home in Macon Builds Relationship with Legislator (Issue 2 of 6)

On Friday, September 18th credit unions from Warner Robins sat down with State Sen. John Kennedy (R-Macon) to grow his understanding of credit unions. Sen. Kennedy was a freshman legislator in the 2015 session; however, given his active involvement and quick growth, he is one to watch for future roles, and one to build a relationship with early. As he sits on both the Senate Banking Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kennedy has a direct impact on many of the bills that touch credit unions. Helping him have a well-rounded understanding of what makes credit unions unique is beneficial to future advocacy efforts, and this meeting was a great way to help grow his personal connections.

Credit union leaders from Combined Employees CU, Robins FCU and GCUA shared their insight on legislative issues, industry issues and the types of loans available at credit unions. But the time shared at this meeting did more than just illustrate the issues – it builds a personal relationship between Sen. Kennedy and the local credit union individuals. Having these relationships around the state is exceedingly beneficial in growing legislative influence for the industry.



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Capitol interiorIn Advance of 2016 Session, State Legislature Holds Multiple Hearings (Issue 3 of 6)

The state Legislature has held a variety of hearings during the off session, ranging from tax reform and welfare to insurance issues, with more pending up until the holidays. These hearings are typically precursors for bills to come in the following year, and are the opportunity not just to learn the stance of legislators, but to proactively shape issues for credit unions in advance of the session. On September 21st GCUA did just that at the hearing on short-term rentals (such as VBRO and AirBNB), one of the hearings on watch for issues that may arise that could impact mortgage lending. In the coming weeks, the Legislature will tackle more topics, including cybersecurity, which is to be addressed in an upcoming hearing on October 7th. Stay tuned!


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Carter and SmithCUs Consistently Building Relationships (Issue 4 of 6)

Building relationships with legislators is a vital aspect to advocacy efforts; it is done through Hike the Hill trips to Washington, D.C., local Hike at Home meetings, connecting at town halls, supporting political events, and being engaged in civic organizations. It is not something that is completed with one interaction, but rather a relationship that is cultivated over time, with various connections each year. And these connections can happen anywhere; Georgia United CU CEO Debbie Smith recently reconnected with U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter (R-1) at the UGA-South Carolina college football game.

This type of interaction is organic. But, you cannot organically bump into someone unless they already know you. Get to know your legislators today! For various legislators’ in-district events, or to find out who your federal and state legislators are, please utilize the resources found on the GCUA website.





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Georgia CU Leaders Attain DE Designation (Issue 5 of 6)

DE logoCongratulations to Monique Dunbar of Credit Union of Atlanta and Teresa Welborn of Peach State FCU for becoming two of the nation’s newest DEs! There were forty-six credit union professionals who advanced through the intensive Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training from the National Credit Union Foundation in September. This training is not for the faint of heart, and is a significant designation - something any fellow Georgia DE can attest to!

DE training is a weeklong immersion into credit union philosophy; providing critical lessons in cooperative principles and international issues while incorporating challenges credit unions face today. Given that it is much different from a normal educational event, getting in can be a challenge in itself - the next two DE trainings are already booked for 2016. For those interested in the 2016 Fall DE Training (or 2017 trainings), visit the National Credit Union Foundation site to learn more.
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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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