HARRISBURG – State Representative Mark Longietti (D-7) of Hermitage has become the first Pennsylvania lawmaker to win the Desjardins Financial Literacy Award for State Lawmakers by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). This prestigious national honor is given to one state lawmaker each year for leadership on behalf of youth financial literacy.
The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) nominated the legislator for the award to honor the work that he has done toward the advancement of financial education in the Commonwealth. Rep. Longietti will be honored during the PCUA 78th Annual Convention & Exposition being held May 20-22, in Pittsburgh.
“The Association is pleased that Rep. Longietti was selected to receive the Desjardins Financial Literacy Award for State Lawmakers,” said PCUA President/CEO Jim McCormack. “It’s a well-known fact that children and adults lack financial literacy skills to effectively manage their money. Credit unions have been on the forefront of providing financial education in schools, so we are naturally supportive of Rep. Longietti’s efforts to establish financial education programs throughout Pennsylvania,” said McCormack.
Rep. Longietti sponsored the State House education bill that helps Pennsylvania’s educational system incorporate financial education in school systems. Following a veto by the Governor, Longietti gained bipartisan support to overturn the Governor’s veto by displaying the need for financial education. The bill was passed on November 17, 2010, and officially became Act 104. Act 104 requires the Pennsylvania Department of Education to convene an Economic Education and Personal Financial Literacy Task Force to assess the trends and needs of economic education and personal financial literacy; consider how funds are used to support economic education and personal financial literacy; and make recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly regarding legislative or regulatory changes to improve economic education and personal financial literacy. PCUA is proud to serve on the Economic Education Task Force.
Rep. Longietti is a native of Sharpsville and was first elected to serve in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2006. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the Policy Committee and on the House Commerce, Education, Transportation, and Tourism & Recreational Development Committees.
“Rep. Longietti was clearly deserving of this award,” said Michael Lanotte, Senior Vice President for Association Services/General Counsel of the Credit Union Association of New York and the Chairman of CUNA’s State Credit Union Subcommittee. “This award has three goals: 1) Provide an incentive for state lawmakers promoting financial literacy in the states; 2) Help credit unions thank these lawmakers, and; 3) Demonstrate credit unions’ commitment to financial literacy.”
The award is named after Alphonse Desjardins (1854 – 1920), a credit union pioneer who was instrumental in forming the Canadian and U.S. credit union movements. Besides helping to found the first credit unions in Canada and the U.S., Desjardins pioneered youth savings clubs and in-school “banks,” known as caisses scolaires.
Credit unions are financial cooperatives that provide affordable financial services to help their owner/members. The Harrisburg-based Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) is a trade association that provides legislative, promotional, educational and operational support for nearly 400 credit unions in Pennsylvania. These credit unions have assets in excess of $35 billion and serve more than 3.6 million members.
With its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) serves 90 percent of America’s 7,400 state and federally chartered credit unions, which are owned by nearly 93 million consumer members. For more information about CUNA, visit www.cuna.org and follow @CUNAverse on Twitter. For more information about credit unions, visit www.aSmarterChoice.org and follow @asmarterchoice on Twitter.