Credit union supporters advocate in Albany at NYCUA’s State GAC
ALBANY, NY (April 14, 2016) — Credit union advocates from every corner of the state were in Albany this week to meet with lawmakers during the New York Credit Union Association’s State Governmental Affairs Conference. Held April 11-13, the conference provided attendees with numerous opportunities to connect with lawmakers and discuss important credit union legislative issues.
The conference began Monday afternoon with two simultaneous sessions: a compliance update led by Association VP of Compliance Mike Carter, and an open dialogue on taxi medallion lending facilitated by Association President/CEO William J. Mellin.
Carter’s update provided attendees with insights into the latest regulations and proposals impacting credit unions.
The taxi medallion lending discussions allowed credit union leaders a chance to exchange ideas on how to best proceed with the recent volatility and disruptions in the taxi and livery industries. It also provided CEOs and managers from credit unions that primarily originate taxi medallion loans an opportunity to share insights with leaders from credit unions that participate in the loans.
Following the opening sessions, State GAC attendees were able to mingle with lawmakers and each other at the Legislative Reception held at the nearby University Club.
Tuesday’s general session began with leading political pollster Dr. Don Levy, the director of Siena College Research Institute. Levy explained how the college conducts their highly respected polls, as well as recent analysis of political surveys. Notably, Levy showed poll results that indicate a large gap between individuals who think the New York state economy is doing well, and those who think it is struggling. He also shared results that show major concerns with the $15 per hour minimum wage among New York CEOs.
Dr. Tomas Dvorak, chairman of the Union College Economics department then explained his research on the impact of the timing of retirement plan contributions on investment returns. Later in his presentation, Dvorak explained how data can be used to predict loan losses.
Attendees were then given an employment law update by attorney John Bagyi, partner at the law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King. His fast-paced presentation offered legal updates on transgender and pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, religious accommodations for employees, paid family leave, the minimum wage increase and more.
Following Bagyi’s presentation, New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, a former longtime assemblyman, took the stage to share updates on the state’s finances.
DiNapoli, a current credit union member, praised credit unions for their community involvement and member service, calling the state’s not-for-profit financial cooperatives “an important part of the fabric of our communities.”
DiNapoli was candid in his remarks about the financial condition of the state, explaining that he was concerned about certain areas of New York and the state debt. However, the comptroller explained that money from bank settlements has provided the state with much-needed relief.
After breaking for lunch, the general session resumed with a presentation by Buddy Gill, NCUA’s senior policy and external relations advisor to the chairman. Gill focused much of his remarks on the agency’s regulatory relief and modernization initiatives, and he also shared general credit union statistics with the group.
Wednesday, more than 130 credit union advocates visited the state Capitol to lobby for their issues and thank lawmakers for their support on pro-credit union legislation. In total, State GAC attendees visited the offices of more than 100 lawmakers, asking for their support on legislation dealing with mortgage loan consummation, transportation network companies, data security, a state funds deposit program, municipal deposits, robbery penalties, and the inclusion of credit unions in banking development districts.
The advocates also discussed the history, structure and cooperative philosophies of credit unions and highlighted stories from the newly published MORE Report, an annual collection of credit union outreach efforts.
“State GAC is one of the most rewarding and important events of the year for the New York credit union movement, and this year’s conference was a success by any measure” said Association President/CEO William J. Mellin. “All year long, the state’s credit unions and the Association work to build positive, lasting relationships with our elected officials throughout New York. State GAC is the culmination of all those months of hard work, and a chance to show our state lawmakers what a powerful, united movement we are.”
Pictures from the event are available on NYCUA’s Facebook page.
About The New York Credit Union Association
For more than 100 years, the New York Credit Union Association has served as the trade association for the state’s credit unions, which collectively hold more than $83 billion in assets and serve 5.9 million members. NYCUA strives to advance the credit union movement by advocating, educating, uniting and supporting the interests of all credit unions statewide. To learn more about NYCUA, visit www.nycua.org. To find a credit union or learn more about the credit union movement, visit yourmoneyfurther.com.