While the Georgia Legislature is technically only “in” for the first few months of the year, the work that goes into the issues, bills and lobbying to help shape the issues takes place year-round. This is done through regular engagement of legislators, staying informed on the trending issues around the country, as well as involvement in any off-session hearings to get a sense of what is being attempted – and address issues before they are put into legislation.
On July 23rd the House Regulated Industries held an impromptu hearing to discuss the funeral industry in Georgia. And while at first glance one would think this would not impact credit unions, it pays to stay engaged. The hearing touched on several financial institution issues, loans, accounts, CDs, trusts, and consistency (or inconsistencies) in financial institution operations. For the past two years the credit union lobbying team has addressed bills that sought to change the way financial institutions pay funeral expenses out of intestate accounts, with a positive move to remove the onerous language from 2018 and include liability protection for the financial institution as well as a clear system in which to apply for payment. Funeral issues will continue to be monitored to ensure that nothing is changed to remove the protections obtained for credit unions.