It’s only week four of the new year, but things are heating up in our two Capitols. As South Dakota lawmakers enter their third week of the 98th Legislative session, 188 bills have been introduced as of last Friday. I am truly looking forward to seeing many of our credit union leaders in Pierre on Wednesday for our annual SD Credit Union Legislative Day at the Capitol and our social with lawmakers after they gavel out.
Action Alert! Calling all North Dakota credit union advocates!
In North Dakota, lawmakers have cranked out nearly 900 bills including our FOM modernization bill. Senate Bill (SB) 2266 has been introduced this legislative session to enhance the field of membership (FOM) laws for ND state chartered credit unions. Our objective is to preserve our dual charter system and we are seeking similar FOM powers that federal chartered credit unions have. North Dakota credit unions have not sponsored a bill in 40 years, so this is a historic moment.
SB 2266 would amend North Dakota Century Code at 6-06-07, Membership in credit union. This bill seeks to revise subsection 2 to clarify that a credit union can be made up of one or more groups having of common bond of occupation or association, or groups in a geographic area. With regard to “open charter” credit unions, or those credit unions whose FOM is based on a geographic area, SB 2266 would allow individuals working or attending school within the geographic FOM to join the credit union, in addition to the existing provision of “residing.”
We are also asking the legislature to approve an increase in the FOM radius. Currently, state chartered credit unions are limited to 75 miles radius from the home office. Under SB 2266, state chartered credit unions would be able to apply for an expansion up to 250 mile radius of any office of the credit union. We have dedicated a page on our website for more information which you can find here.
Please consider submitting a written testimony letter in support of this bill. We are not able to submit testimony on your behalf; it must come from you directly. Please have your letter ready to be submitted by Friday, January 27. Your letter does not need to be long; it just needs to illustrate your story. To assist you we have put together some questions to consider. You do not need to answer every question; these are just a starting point to help you gather your thoughts.
Points to consider:
Interchange bill introduced in North Dakota Senate.
North Dakota Retailers and Petroleum Marketers’ groups have unwisely introduced SB 2217 which proposes to prohibit the levying of interchange fees on any portion of a credit card or debit card sale representing any state or local taxes. There will be a hearing on Wednesday in front of the Senate IBL committee at 9:00 a.m. (CT).
Not only will this bill harm North Dakota consumers, it will actually hurt smaller businesses and increase their overhead costs, as this proposal will increase operational burdens and administration costs for North Dakota retailers.
This legislation is nothing more than an appeal for government price controls on the electronic payments industry, including community banks and credit unions. Some retailers are attempting to shift the debate by making it look like interchange is a fee that consumers pay. The reality is that interchange is a retailer’s cost of doing business—the cost of accepting payment cards.
Why North Dakota legislators should reject this plan.
DakCU held as “best practices” example for CU Communicators
In comparison to other credit union state leagues and associations, our association team here is small, but we sure pack a mighty punch! The fact that we run lean is a benefit and we can pivot quickly and respond to threats, trends, or most anything that our members may need. In a recent communicators call led by the CUNA League systems, DakCU was cited as an example of being proactive in helping credit unions fill staff vacancies. As you may recall, over a year ago our Director of Marketing, Lindsey Hefta, made turn-key graphics for our credit unions to use in recruiting new staff members. You can find them here. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for any credit union related issues; we may already have a solution available for you!
First Community CU Named Business of the Month.
The Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors and Young Professionals of Jamestown recently presented the January Business of the Month Award to First Community Credit Union. The nomination praised FCCU for treating members like family, raising funds for many causes, and for supporting the community. Congratulations to Steve Schmitz and staff on this great honor!
Congratulations to Black Hills FCU
Finally, I would like to send a “shout out” to Jerry Schmidt and the crew at Black Hills FCU in Rapid City, SD. Last week, they celebrated their newest Rapid City location with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Their new service center at 5th and Minnesota will provide even more convenient access for thousands of their members. Congratulations on your continued growth and success!
Be sure to reach out to lawmakers on SB 2266 and SB 2217. We need your input.
Have a great week,
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