APRIL 28, 2017
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Government Influence
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State Legislative Update
Public Influence
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Media Relations
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Statewide News Coverage

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Beginning with the May 12, 2017 issue,
Creating Influence will be published in a new format from Growth By Design. Watch for it!

U.S. Capitol U.S. House Hearing on Dodd-Frank Alternative Bill (Issue 1 of 5)
The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on a bill that would be an alternative to the Dodd-Frank Act; the measure includes several provisions favorable to the credit union industry.

  Special Elections Go to Runoff (Issue 2 of 5)
Recent special elections for a U.S. House post and a state Senate seat failed to produce clear winners, so the top two vote-getters in each race will meet in runoffs on June 20 and May 16, respectively.

  Credit Union Grassroots (Issue 3 of 5)
Recent grassroots efforts on behalf of Georgia credit unions included chapter meetings focused on legislative issues, a credit union staff meeting addressing PAC fundraising, and a legislator's visit to a student-run credit union branch.

  Former GA Governor Joins Presidential Cabinet, Clearing Path for 2018 Governor's Race (Issue 4 of 5)
The confirmation of former Gov. Sonny Perdue to a Cabinet post reshuffled the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial campaign, leaving the race open for what is expected to be a crowded field of candidates from both parties.

  Credit Unions in the News (Issue 5 of 5)
The credit union message continues to spread, as evidenced by coverage of the industry in a wide range of media outlets, from newspapers to magazines to the broadcast media.

U.S. CapitolU.S. House Hearing on Dodd-Frank Alternative Bill (Issue 1 of 5)

On April 26th, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on the committee chair Rep. Jeb Hensarling’ s (R-TX) Dodd-Frank alternative bill. The bill, the Financial CHOICE Act, contains a number of regulatory relief provisions positive for credit unions.  These include: 

  • Changes to the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and how it operates,
  • Improvements to mortgage lending laws,
  • Examination fairness with NCUA,
  • Safe harbor for reporting elder financial abuse, and what is deemed highly controversial -
  • A repeal of the "Durbin Amendment" on interchange, which is not considered by several political insiders to stay in the bill moving forward. To urge your U.S. Representative to keep the "Durbin Amendment" repeal in the legislation, click here.

Next steps for the bill: The committee is expected to be in a continuation hearing on the bill as of press time, and then hold another meeting on May 2nd to address amendments, debate provisions and make changes to move it forward (which is called a mark-up).  But whatever changes are made will be aimed at purely securing passage of the bill through the committee and then through the House in some form.  Then, the bill would go to the Senate where (hopefully) several of the provisions will be retained and pass.  So, with that said, there is much work to be done, and the bill will change throughout the process – with the work of the most consequence to get to a final form in the Senate.  In the meantime, Rep. Hensarling has been in regular contact with CUNA, dialogue aimed at ensuring that the efforts to bring meaningful regulatory relief for credit unions remain on track.

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Voting boothsSpecial Elections Go to Runoff (Issue 2 of 5)

On Tuesday, April 18th special elections were held for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District to replace Tom Price, and for state Senate District 32 to replace Judson Hill. With no one candidate in either race achieving above 50 percent of the vote due to the large number of individuals running across the board, both races now go to a runoff.  Here’s where the races stand

  • The 6th Congressional District, which previously had a total of 18 people running, now is between Jon Ossoff (D) who received 48.1 percent of the vote and Karen Handel (R) who received 19.7 percent of the vote. This runoff will be held on June 20th.
  • State Senate District 32, which previously had a total of eight people running, is now between Christine Triebsch (D) who received 24.2 percent of the vote and Kay Kirkpatrick (R) who received 21.1 percent of the vote.  This runoff will be held on May 16th.

For any of the people in, near or driving through these districts – be prepared for more fliers, mailers, signs, emails, calls and ads! 

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GrassCredit Union Grassroots (Issue 3 of 5)

Grassroots capability is important to the advocacy success of any industry.  Two important parts of strong grassroots are educating staff and board about the issues that impact credit unions, and engaging with legislators to grow relationships and understanding of what makes credit unions unique.  In addition to the in-person contact GCUA had these past two weeks at political events, here are some of the most recent examples of grassroots in Georgia:

  • On April 12th, Associated Credit Union held a legislative/PAC focused staff meeting to educate new employees on the importance of credit union grassroots, the key issues addressed in the state legislative session, and how their involvement with PAC fundraising is vital to the success of the industry.
  • On April 17th Georgia United Credit Union hosted state Rep. Brian Strickland (R-McDonough) at their student-run branch at the Academy for Advanced Studies in his district.  Rep. Strickland has been an ally in the state Legislature for credit union issues, and this meeting helped illustrate the unique nature of the industry and how they help his community. 
  • On April 18th the South Georgia Credit Union Chapter held a legislative issues chapter meeting to shed light on the top changes in law arising from the state session, and what matters to credit unions.  Credit unions were provided the insight into new enhancements in law pending for the industry.
  • On April 21st the Augusta Credit Union Chapter held a legislative chapter meeting, hosting local elected officials as well as state and federal legislators who represent the area.  Some of the officials in attendance included state Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem), state Rep. Sheila Clark Nelson (D-Augusta), and U.S. Rep. Rick Allen (R-12) who served as the special guest speaker for the evening.  Congressman Allen provided insight into the top legislative issues to be addressed on the federal level in Washington, D.C.

If your credit union is holding branch openings or events, please invite your area legislators and share with us any connections. Also, if your credit union or chapter is interested in holding a similar legislative issues focused meeting, please let us know.

Strickland   Augusta legislative night
State Rep. Brian Strickland (far left) at Georgia United Credit Union   From left: State Rep. Barry Fleming; Bernadette Hughes, Augusta Metro FCU Supervisory Committee member; state Rep. Sheila Clark Nelson

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Former GA Governor Joins Presidential Cabinet, Clearing Path for 2018 Governor's Race (Issue 4 of 5)

TwineThis week former Governor Sonny Perdue was confirmed to a presidential cabinet post, and as such became the first-ever Georgian to become the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture!  Congratulations to the former Governor, whose nomination the U.S. Senate confirmed on April 24th by a vote of 87-11. And with agriculture a significant part of Georgia’s economy, many people in politics view his role leading the Department as an asset to the farming industry in the state. 

The interesting wrinkle in his new post is how this shapes the statewide campaigns for Georgia in 2018.  Insiders were watching to see whether Perdue would run again for Governor, an idea which has promptly been squelched with his ascension to the cabinet post.  With that no longer a possibility, it clears one major hurdle for anyone considering a run for Governor.  And there are already big names that are announced or announcing, with more formal announcements expected this weekend.  For a quick overview, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran an article on April 25th highlighting the tangled web of candidates already shaping up for both the Republican and Democratic hopefuls for the 2018 governor race.  But however it shakes out, it will be one long and interesting campaign year leading up to November 2018! 
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NewsCredit Unions in the News (Issue 5 of 5)

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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