State policy-makers, credit union leaders gather for Minnesota’s Credit Union Day at the Capitol
Thursday, January 29, 2015
| Ideal Credit Union representatives and Tartan High School
student credit union workers meet with
Sen. Chuck Wiger during CU Day
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota’s top policy-makers headlined the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s 2015 Credit Union Day at the Capitol event in St. Paul on Jan. 27. More than 150 credit union leaders from communities throughout Minnesota gathered for this annual event.
Lt. Governor Tina Smith, Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk talked about their respective policy and legislative priorities, as well as their outlook for the legislative session. They also emphasized that in-person meetings with elected officials are vital in helping to keep them informed about issues that are important to credit unions.
Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, a 2014 recipient of the Credit Union National Association’s Desjardins Financial Education Award for State Government Policymakers, spoke about the importance of providing the state’s youth with financial education.
“The Commerce Department and credit unions share the goal of teaching kids money management skills at an early age,” said Commissioner Rothman. “We want to help set the stage for them to build the financial skills they’ll need to be successful in the years ahead.”
Education sessions during Credit Union Day focused on grassroots advocacy and a preview of expected 2015 legislative activity. Members of MnCUN’s “The Crew” – a networking group for credit union employees 35 and younger – learned insights about politics and motivations for running for office from Rep. Jason Metsa and Rep. Tim Sanders.
Before heading to the capitol to meet with their state legislators, attendees also heard from keynote speaker Mary Lahammer of Twin Cities Public Television who shared her experiences and insights about covering Minnesota politics.
In the afternoon, credit unions advocates met with their local legislators. Providing a first-hand example of credit unions’ commitment to financial education, several students from Ideal Credit Union’s Tartan High School branch and their marketing teacher met with Senate Education Committee Chair Chuck Wiger to talk about the success they’ve experienced with the student-run credit union branch. By working at the school’s credit union, the students have an opportunity to gain work experience and learn more about how a financial institution operates. They also share their knowledge by educating their peers on the importance of saving, budgeting and developing a strong credit history.
Credit union representatives also emphasized with their legislators the many ways that credit unions – as locally-owned, not-for-profit financial institutions – are connected to the communities that they serve. Topics discussed with legislators included patent reform, mortgage foreclosure regulations and savings incentive programs.
“Credit Union Day at the Capitol is a great opportunity to show legislators how credit unions benefit the constituents and communities they serve,” said MnCUN President & CEO Mark Cummins. “This event allows us to advocate on issues face-to-face with the Minnesota legislators who directly impact the credit union industry.”
The Minnesota Credit Union Network is the statewide trade association that works to ensure the success, growth and vitality of Minnesota credit unions. With nearly $20 billion in assets, Minnesota credit unions are local, trusted financial cooperatives that serve more than 1.6 million members at 400+ branch locations around the state. As not-for-profit institutions, credit unions give back to the communities they serve. For more information, visit www.mncun.org.