Activity in Congress has been intense all year, and the state legislative session in Georgia will begin on January 13th. However, given the level of activity, one could assume that session has already begun! Credit unions and their advocacy team have been engaged in multiple hearings, public meetings and private conversations with legislators regarding bills and issues to be addressed for credit unions – and staying engaged with members of Congress for creating the credit union context on the issues in play in Washington, D.C. Some of the activity of the past two weeks include:
- On November 5th the lobbying team for credit unions was at the third state legislative hearing on analyzing affordable housing, this time in Dahlonega in their path around the state. The hearing highlighted several financial industry issues on the hurdles for some in qualifying for a mortgage in light of the CFPB delayed regulations. These hearings, while directed at local code and aesthetic requirements on homes, are monitored closely to protect against lending obstacles or barriers to helping those seeking a mortgage.
- On November 11th the LSCU advocacy team joined U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-11) for their all-staff event and toy drive for Family Savings CU in Cartersville. As part of the employee event, Rep. Loudermilk addressed the team and was a wonderful window to connect with multiple individuals in a short window of time. Our thanks to Family Savings CU for hosting their area Congressman, and to Rep. Loudermilk for sharing his Veterans Day with credit unions!
- On November 12th Bob Clampett, CEO of CORE CU, and Controller Chris Whalen represented all credit unions at the in-district political event for State Sen. Jack Hill (R-Reidsville). Sen. Hill is a longstanding senator from the Statesboro area, and serves as chairman of the Budget Committee as well as a member of the powerful Rules Committee. Our thanks to CORE CU for connecting with him to put an in-district face on the industry!
- On November 13th and 14th LSCU’s advocacy team was a part of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Fall Legislative meeting, which provides insight into the key statewide issues in the upcoming session. It was also the prime window to connect with more than 100 legislators and lobbyists from other industries and gain a sense of what others may be pursuing as well.
Credit union advocacy happens year-round and does not stop just because a state or federal legislative session may be over or on “break.” To be effective, it takes staying engaged, building connections, gaining insight, and being in the know on the issues that impact all credit unions. With as many unknowns that happen in the course of the legislative session, it’s important to continually stay engaged – thank you to all the credit unions for their efforts throughout 2019!