|Georgia Begins State Legislative Session (Issue 1 of 6)
This week marked the start of the state legislative session when they began the second half of the two-year cycle on January 11th, and already the Legislature is at a high pace. The Legislature had worked through more than four days of the 40-day schedule as of press time, and leadership has shared that it will be one of the quickest sessions in recent history, with a potential end date slated for mid- to late March.
|Two Bills to Help Credit Unions Introduced Early (Issue 2 of 6)
Prior to the onset of the state legislative session, GCUA has been working with various legislators to help address two issues of importance to credit unions, and these were two of the early bills introduced in the first week! Much work continues to help move these issues forward, and time is not an ally due to the pace of the session. However, having these pro-credit union bills introduced early aids in the likelihood of passage:
Georgia Garnishment Process Legislation
Credit Union Clarification for Lending/Operation Procedures
|State Session in Week One: Fast, With Multiple Issues of Interest to CUs (Issue 3 of 6)
While the first week is full of the formalities, the Legislature is poised to move quickly with multiple hearings in the first week on bills and for the first time in legislators’ memory they will be in session three days next week (typically reserved for budget hearings only). This week there were multiple bills introduced in addition to the above two pro-credit union bills that will require active monitoring for the industry through the committee process, and the lobbying team was engaged with two hearings already at the onset:
In addition, while it is not new: SB 242 by Sen. Michael Williams (R-Cumming) seeks to require companies with sick leave policies to permit employees' use for immediate family members. This bill was introduced in 2015, but did not move forward and was shifted to another committee in the Senate for potential movement. Remember, all bills that did not pass in 2015 are still "live"!
|NCUA Board Member McWatters Nominated for Ex-Im Bank Board
(Issue 4 of 6)
President Barack Obama announced on January 11th that he has nominated current NCUA board member J. Mark McWatters to a position on the Export-Import Bank board of directors. McWatters, who has served on the NCUA board since August 2014, will continue to serve on the board through the confirmation process. McWatters has been an advocate for greater regulatory flexibility for credit unions; it will be of interest to credit unions to see who will be nominated to fill his post with NCUA after his (most likely) pending departure. Stay tuned!
|2016 CU Political Involvement Kicks Off with Eggs and Issues Breakfast (Issue 5 of 6)
On January 12th, the second day of the state legislative session, credit union representatives and GCUA joined 2,000 business leaders, state legislators and local officials at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Eggs and Issues breakfast. This event is the unofficial kickoff to the legislative session, and at the credit union table were Chuck Head (Atlanta Postal CU), Sherry Saxon and Sidney Saxon (Augusta Metro FCU) and Renia Short (Delta Community CU) as well as Rep. Brian Prince (D-Augusta). Rep. Prince is one of four state legislators who also serve on credit union boards, and as such is a valuable ally during the legislative session.
|Credit Unions in the News (Issue 6 of 6)
Credit unions continue to earn media coverage statewide and beyond. Whether it is 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."