Legislative Update with Jay Kruse
I made the quick trip to Las Vegas this week to participate in our annual MonDak Roundtable and things have gotten off to a great start! Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about my first few bets in Caesar’s Sportsbook, but today is a new day!
We are now on legislative day 20 of 38 for the South Dakota Legislative Session. The deadline for the introduction of bills passed last week. This session a total of 339 bills were introduced in the House and 212 in the Senate. Committee work will now start to pick up as the countdown to the end of session begins. While we have added a handful of lending and industry related bills to our tracking list over the last week, it is a bit shorter than it has been in years past. You can always review all the legislation we are tracking on our website here: dakcu.org/bill-tracking.html.
Dakota Senators Weigh In on NCUA Draft Strategic Plan
On Monday this week, senators from multiple agriculture-producing states officially addressed concerns with provisions in the recent National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Draft Strategic Plan, which could potentially restrict access to credit for farmers, ranchers, and agri-businesses.
In a strongly worded letter to NCUA Board Chair Todd M. Harper, all four senators representing North Dakota and South Dakota, along with senators from Arkansas, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Wyoming, as well as our two congressmen from the Dakotas, said that recent statements by the NCUA “could lead to the establishment of a regulatory environment that threatens the ability of farmers, ranchers, agri-businesses, and rural communities to access credit.”
You can read the entire signed letter here.
The Draft Strategic Plan in its current form describes proposed goals and objectives that discuss potential climate-related financial risks, and the potential for new regulations, increased examinations, and scrutiny of credit unions that serve rural and agricultural communities.
Your Dakota Credit Union Association, as well as North Dakota Governor Burghum issued comment letters in January expressing many of those same concerns, sounding the alarm on this potentially detrimental plan.
Jeff Olson, DakCU President/CEO, once again weighed in on the issue this week, sending a quote to Senator Hoeven’s office for their official press release: “North Dakota’s 34 credit unions currently hold more than $748 million in agricultural loans. Dakota farmers are the answer to climate change, not a problem to be overcome. Plant-based agriculture enhances climate resiliency; this is something that our federal regulatory agency does not fully understand or simply refuses to acknowledge. Our credit unions have been supporting and advancing our rural economies for more than eighty years – and credit unions here and across the country should not be penalized for it. We need to continue to make investments in our farm and ranch producers; not divest them.”
Senator Cramer joined Hoeven in issuing an official press release.
Be assured, DakCU is playing close attention to this issue and will continue to keep you apprised of any further developments. As always, don’t hesitate to contact me with any advocacy concerns.
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