Greetings and Happy Monday!
Wow, what a “kickoff” to the new year! After a record fifteen votes, the House majority finally agreed on a Speaker and Leader of the House Chamber. Then, South Dakota State University was crowned National Champion, and South Dakota credit unions win the “Border the Battle” against hunger. North Dakota legislators have gaveled in, and South Dakota lawmakers convene this week. And, on the regulatory front, several federal agencies released their latest Unified Rulemaking Agenda. Buckle up everybody and take a deep breath – as we are about to enter ‘Hyper Drive.”
Agencies pre-rule agenda concerning for credit unions.
When federal agencies released their rulemaking objectives for the year, several items got our attention. For starters, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau lists an overdraft “pre-rule” and Section 1071, Small Business Lending Data Collection final rule on its agenda.
Also, NCUA has listed a “climate-related financial risk” pre-rule on its agenda. Specifically, the pre-rule item will seek input on current and prospective climate-related financial risks to credit unions, related entities, and the Share Insurance Fund.
Border Battle to Tackle Hunger will provide over 66,000 meals for those who need it most!
I want to personally thank the many credit unions and individuals that joined us in the “Border Battle to “Tackle Hunger” that we launched just before the Christmas break. This food drive competition between North and South Dakota credit unions was quickly created when two of our states’ universities – SDSU and NDSU – advanced to the FCS final game for the national championship.
Our hope was to use this friendly rivalry to collect the most food items and cash donations to “restock” food pantries in both states in partnership with the Great Plains Food Bank (ND) and Feeding South Dakota. I am thrilled to report that together, Dakota credit union donations will provide more than 66,000 meals for those in need!
As for the competition, South Dakota credit unions really got behind SDSU and collected the most donations and contributed just over 49,000 meals. While the North Dakota Bison backers brought in more than 7,000 meals. This means the first $1,500 Dakota Credit Union Foundation bonus donation for contributing the most meals go to South Dakota. And, with a resounding Jackrabbit 45 – 21 victory, Feeding South Dakota will also receive an additional $1,500 donation from the Dakota Credit Union Foundation.
Once again, thank you all for backing your team and pivoting quickly to support this important this need in our communities. This is another extraordinary example of the great things that credit unions do for their members and communities each and every day! Well done.
Now that we have a new Speaker of the House, what’s next?
Now that Rep. Kevin McCarthy is the new Speaker of the House, what can we expect in the “People’s House” in the 118th Congress? First of all, for credit unions we will have a top-ranking champion with the Speaker’s gavel. McCarthy has always been a friend and fan of credit unions and he often shares that it was a credit union that gave him his first business loan that allowed him to launch his own business Kevin’s O’s Deli when he was just 21 years old.
With all of the drama that took place during the voting process last week, many say the new leader will be weakened by several concessions that were made in his final rise to the speakership. Since most of the news was focused on the drama and theatrics, no one has really paid attention to what was negotiated or accomplished at the end of the day.
When it was all over, what it really came down to was improving the process. Many House members believe that the reason our country is heading in the wrong direction is because spending is spiraling out of control, and the “check and balance” process in the House is broken.
Here a few things that were conceded during the election of the new Speaker – you can decide for yourself if these “demands” will weaken the House or perhaps actually lead to one of most functioning House Chambers in recent years. First and foremost, Congress will introduce a bill this week to defund the 87,000 new IRS agents the administration is going to hire this year.
Here are a few more notable concessions that were made:
New Memo schedule to begin next week.
We know that you are bombarded with a full “in basket” every day. It can be difficult to sort through and prioritize what needs your attention. So, in an effort to help you navigate through all of the messages you receive, we will be consolidating our Memo e-newsletter to two days a week: Tuesdays and Thursdays. The newsletter will also have a new design – so stay tuned as we launch our new schedule next Tuesday! We will continue to provide information that you can peruse at a glance to determine if you want to read more on the topic. In addition, in the event that we have “breaking news” that cannot wait, you can expect the occasional “special edition” to cover topics/issues that need your immediate attention. We are confident you will like the new look with the same pertinent and timely information you have grown to rely upon from your association.
New CUPAC/CULAC video promotes legislative fundraising.
As a reminder, DakCU has an updated CUPAC/CULAC Video that member credit unions can download to use internally to promote our legislative fundraising PAC with employees and volunteers. You can find the video here: https://vimeo.com/782532058. If you have any questions about offering payroll deduction or other ways to promote fundraising for credit union friendly legislators and candidates, please contact me or Jay Kruse, our Chief Advocacy Officer.
Advancing Communities video showcases credit unions making a difference in the Dakotas.
I also want to encourage you to take a moment to review our new Advancing Communities video that we have created with the help of our member credit unions. Using your photos and video assets, the short video highlights the impact that we are having in advancing our communities. Dakota credit unions are doing some amazing things in improving the financial well-being for our members – and you will probably recognize many of the credit union staff in the photos. You can watch the video here. This will also be featured soon on the Credit Union National Association’s Advancing Communities platform; this site is designed to promote the credit union difference through the lens of community impact to our local and federal lawmakers.
Shout out to Healthcare Plus FCU
Finally, I would like to send a “shout out” to Guy Trenhaile and the crew at Healthcare Plus FCU in Aberdeen SD. They were featured in a recent article in Dakota News Now that focused on auto dealers’ recommendations for teens to build credit, especially in these times of rising interest rates and prices. One automotive general manager stated, “There’s very few places that will allow young adults to get credit without having a co-signer or even give them a chance. To have that done before 18 is virtually unheard of except if you have credit unions or different lenders that are willing to allow young adults to start building credit before age 18.” He then went on to say that is why he took his own son to Healthcare Plus when it was time for him to take out a car loan.
Terrific story and example of how Dakota credit unions are advancing financial well-being for all and the communities we serve. It’s great to be singled out as a better financial choice for young consumers!
Let’s make it a terrific week!
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