The Minnesota Legislature adjourned Monday, bringing this year's session to a close. The main focus over the past several months has been on tax reform and the governor's sales tax proposals, as well as foreclosure legislation and other issues relating to credit unions.
Some of the major issues the Minnesota Credit Union Network's Governmental Affairs team was lobbying on this session include:
- Credit unions' tax exempt status: MnCUN has worked hard to preserve the credit union tax status and closely monitored activity surrounding changes to tax expenditures. In 2011, the Minnesota Department of Revenue recommended that the legislature create a Tax Expenditure Commission to examine tax expenditures on an eight-year cycle and create a sunset date – or end date – for the expenditures. This session, MnCUN again discussed the credit union tax exemption with key legislators, as well as members of the governor's staff, and emphasized its importance. Because of these efforts, the credit unions' tax exempt status remains untouched.
- Credit unions' partnering with MnSCU: The Governmental Affairs team helped to get legislation passed that extends a program that encourages partnerships between Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and local financial institutions.
- Sales tax on financial services: A bill was introduced this session that would have issued a sales tax on financial services such as safe deposit boxes. MnCUN successfully lobbied against this proposal and credit unions were prevented from having to collect and remit sales tax on services such as ATM fees, loan fees and safe deposit boxes. This means Minnesota credit unions were also prevented from paying sales taxes on business services such as accounting, legal and marketing services.
If you would like more information about all the bills that MnCUN has been tracking this session, visit the Bill Tracking page of the Network website. Within the next month the Network will also publish its annual Session Summary publication, providing a full recap of the legislative session.
The State Legislature will reconvene for the 2014 Session on Feb. 25, 2014. Also in early 2014, MnCUN will host its annual Credit Union Day at the Capitol event. More information about this important advocacy event and the next legislative session will be available on the Network website in December.
The Network will be releasing the 2013 Legislative Session Summary in the next few weeks. It will include a brief rundown of the soon-to-be completed legislative session, as well as summaries of a number of bills of interest to credit unions, in addition to actions taken by Network staff to support the credit union industry.
MnCUN Annual Meeting welcomes 300, board elections announced
The Minnesota Credit Union Network held its Annual Meeting & Convention on May 17-18 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington. More than 300 credit union professionals and volunteers were in attendance, representing 70 credit unions. The Annual Meeting tradeshow also hosted more than 134 individuals from 61 service organizations.
At MnCUN's annual business meeting on Friday, three incumbents and one new representative were elected to terms on the MnCUN Board of Directors:
- Karen Fleming of HBI Employees Credit Union in St. Paul was reelected to represent credit unions with 2,000 or fewer members.
- Terri Maloney of Catholic United Financial Credit Union in St. Paul was elected to represent credit unions with 2,001 -10,000 members.
- Kelly McDonough of First Alliance Credit Union in Rochester was reelected to represent credit unions outside the Twin Cities seven-county metro area.
- Jeff Schwalen of Hiway Federal Credit Union in St. Paul was reelected to represent credit unions in the Twin Cities metro area.
The MnCUN Board also reelected the table officers below for another term:
- Chairman Patrick Pierce of City & County Credit Union in St. Paul;
- Vice Chairman Chuck Albrecht of Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union in Baxter; and
- Secretary/Treasurer Jeff Schwalen of Hiway Federal Credit Union in St. Paul.
Look for a full recap of the 2013 Annual Meeting coming soon on the Annual Meeting page of the Network website, as well as in next week's Pulse. Also, for those who missed Annual Meeting, or for those want a recap of the May 17 Business Meeting, MnCUN will have an archive of the Business Meeting available in the coming days.
Credit unions: "Unite for Good" to help more consumers choose CUs as PFIs
Educating people is the key to spreading awareness about the value they receive from being members of credit unions. Credit union employees are a great vehicle for spreading the "people helping people” message and the reasons why credit unions operate as they do. The time has never been better for credit unions to unite and get people talking about what sets them apart from other financial institutions.
Earlier this year, the Credit Union National Association launched a new strategic vision for credit unions nationwide that focuses on this idea to band together and promote what credit unions that makes them unique. This vision, called "Unite for Good,” is a collaborative effort by CUNA, state leagues and credit unions. It's not a marketing campaign. It's a mission to encourage credit unions to help consumers choose credit unions as their primary financial partner.
The Minnesota Credit Union Network is encouraging credit unions to embrace the Unite for Good message. To find tools that can help put this vision into action, go to the Unite for Good page of the Network website. All credit unions – large and small – can help ensure that we're all moving in the same direction with a unified message that highlights credit unions' best attributes and tells consumers that credit unions are their best financial choice.
Annual Meeting moves to a new location in 2014
Missed this year's Annual Meeting & Convention? You won't want to miss it next year! The Minnesota Credit Union Network is excited to announce that the 2014 Annual Meeting will be moving to the new Radisson Blu hotel, connected to the Mall of America, in Bloomington.
Mark your calendars for April 25-26, 2014, for this event. The conference will feature two days of business meetings, engaging speakers, educational sessions and entertainment. Whether you are a credit union professional or volunteer, from a large or small credit union, you will find programs specifically geared toward your needs. As always, this weekend will include the Family Involvement Council's Silent Auction, a special event hosted by the Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids committee and MnCUN's Awards Banquet.
Visit the Radisson Blu website for more information and photos. The Network's Annual Meeting page will also be updated periodically with updates on the new location and Annual Meeting events for 2014.
Duluth CU President Gail Krall honored as CU Builder
Gail Krall, a 34-year leader of Minnesota Power Employees Credit Union in Duluth, was recently honored with the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation's (MnCUF's) Credit Union Builder Award. This distinction recognizes those who have dedicated time and energy to building the credit union movement. Nominations for this award are made by credit unions and other organizations in honor of or in memory of a significant individual who has been instrumental in their success.
Gail became President/CEO of Minnesota Power Employees Credit Union in 1979. During her tenure, MPECU grew from $1.9 million in assets to $85 million.
On the state scene, Krall played a vital leadership role in the Minnesota credit union movement, giving immeasurable time, resources and energy to credit unions. She served on the Minnesota Credit Union Network and Network Service Corporation Board of Directors for five years. She has also been a strong supporter of shared branching through her role with the Minnesota Credit Union Service Corporation.
"Gail's career demonstrates a tireless energy and enthusiasm for the credit union cause of ‘people helping people,'” said Nancy Hutchinson, MPECU Vice President of Marketing & Business Development. "Gail doesn't just believe in that philosophy – she puts it into action every day.”
Krall is a powerful advocate for credit unions in the political arena through her work on the Minnesota Credit Union Network's Political Involvement Committee, and she was recently inducted into the Hall of Leaders for the Credit Union House on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
In providing leadership for the financial industry, Krall was also appointed to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank's Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council.
Krall joins 17 other individuals who have been honored over the past six years with the MnCUF's Credit Union Builder Award. The names of the recipients and the contributing credit unions are permanently displayed in the Minnesota Credit Union Network's lobby as a tribute to their accomplishments. The honorees receive acknowledgment from the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation, and donors are also listed online and in the Foundation's annual report.
Credit Union Notes ...
Former Oregon State Sen. Rick Metsger (D) has been tapped by the White House to fill the vacant seat on the three-member National Credit Union Administration Board. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Metsger, who was nominated last week by President Barack Obama, will fill the seat vacated late last year after the term of board member Gigi Hyland expired.
Metsger was an Oregon state senator from 1999 to 2011. He chaired the Oregon Senate committee that heard all financial institution legislation and is a board member of Financial Beginnings, a nonprofit focused on increasing students' financial literacy.
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