Creating Influence

Building Relationships with Legislators: In-District Meeting with Senator

On July 25th credit unions sat down with state Sen. Matt Brass (R-Newnan) for an in-district Hike at Home meeting in Palmetto. This meeting was a re-connection for Atlanta Postal CU and Delta Community CU as these individuals met with Sen. Brass last year for the first time to help educate him on the unique legislative needs of the industry. This year’s meeting was the chance to reinforce that understanding and grow an even deeper personal relationship for the industry.

State Sen. Matt Brass
From left: Robin Ralls, Delta Community CU; Sen. Matt Brass; Chuck Head, Atlanta Postal CU; Meagan Contreras, Atlanta Postal CU

Last year the meeting was held with Sen. Brass as while he was just in his first year; he was identified as a likely legislator to quickly grow in leadership. This proved true quicker than expected; in 2018 he became vice-chairman of a committee, and is likely to grow further. In addition, Sen. Brass recently has been tapped to lead a study committee on the challenges and opportunities the state could face with any marijuana expansion. The group engaged him on the pending challenges facing financial institutions in any state where marijuana is expanded due to the conflict between the state and federal laws, and the strict regulations handed down from the federal agencies.

Thank you to the credit unions for engaging with him again and growing an even deeper relationship, as relationships such as these matter. There were more than 550 bills lobbied on behalf of credit unions in the 2018 state session, which generated the need for a large number of legislative “asks” in amending bills, pursing legislation and opposing issues. And, there are more issues that will take shape for 2019 – but this (as well as meetings with other legislators) helps grow a deeper context so that when legislators review bills, they have a solid background on how things impact or help credit unions serve their members.

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