The Pulse 05-26-16

Volume 5, Issue 21.5

The Pulse Archive



On Tuesday, Minnesota Credit Union Network staff held a post-session conference call to provide credit unions with an update on the Minnesota legislative session. The half hour long teleconference included a synopsis of pertinent bills, the bill's final outcome, and its impact on credit unions. Below is a synopsis of information provided in that teleconference for those who were not able to participate.

The Minnesota Legislature adjourned sine die at midnight Monday night amidst a flurry of last minute activity. The DFL-led Senate and GOP-controlled house did reach agreement on a tax bill and a supplemental spending bill but failed to reach a compromise on two of the largest issues that remained before them; specifically, a bonding bill and a comprehensive transportation bill.

  • The tax bill included a number of provisions of note, some of which include:
  • Nearly full conformity to federal tax provisions enacted in 2014;
  • First-in-the-nation student loan tax credit;
  • Expansion of the child care tax credit;
  • Tax deductions and credits for families contributing to 529 savings plans;
  • Expansion of the working family tax credit;
  • Expansion of tax credits for some veterans;
  • A school building bond agricultural credit; and
  • Phase-out of the state general levy (applies to commercial and seasonal properties).

The deal would cost a total of $259 million in the current budget year and about $550 million in the next two-year budget cycle. Of note, no changes to the code regarding the credit union tax status were added during the late night, backroom negotiations. The Network continues to ardently advocate for it and we enjoy strong bipartisan support for its continuation.

The supplemental spending bill was passed with less than an hour remaining in session. Along with a host of policy changes, the bill calls for an increase of $182 million in additional spending over the biennium.

The overall budget impact of the proposal, by funding area, contains spending in the following areas at the levels listed below:

Jobs, Energy and Equity: $75 million, including $35 million for broadband and $35 million for racial equity;

  • State Government: $45.23 million;
  • E-12 Education: $25 million;
  • Public Safety: $24.97 million;
  • Environment and Agriculture: $7.18 million;
  • Higher Education: $5 million; and
  • Health and Human Services: $0.

While the Legislature did fail to reach agreement on some big ticket legislative items that would have dramatically affected all Minnesotans, credit unions in Minnesota had a very successful session.

“In addition to the passage of the patent reform bill, our primary legislative goal this year, Network staff also managed to head off an overly burdensome proposal from the Department of Commerce dealing with elder financial abuse reporting,” said MnCUN President & CEO Mark Cummins. “We worked on the extension of the Famer-Lender Mediation Act, including inserting a provision that will allow the Network and others to look at industry-friendly changes to the program this summer.”

MnCUN Staff also worked to short circuit a proposal to regulate interchange fees on certain electronic transactions.

With legislative questions, contact MnCUN Vice President – Governmental Affairs Mara Humphrey by email or by phone at (651) 288-5532 or Director of Advocacy Ryan Smith by email or by phone at (651) 288-5533.



MnCUN Annual Performance Survey Closes Friday

Thank you to all who have provided feedback to the Network staff and Board of Directors on our performance in the past year. We appreciate it! If you have not had a chance to complete the survey, there is still time. The MnCUN’s Performance Survey will remain open until end of business day Friday, May 27. It will take just 10 minutes of your time, and all suggestions and comments are welcome!


Minnesota credit union school branches enroll next generation of members

Story via Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal 

Some Minnesota credit unions are trying to push away from the stereotype that they’re the place you take grandma to get money for birthday cards.

Instead, credit unions are opening locations in high schools that are run in part by high school students, for high school students. Six credit unions have opened high school branches since 2011.

Students can open accounts for as little as a $5 deposit, make some money if they work there, polish their interviewing skills, understand firsthand the importance of saving and balancing an account, and learn about different financial transactions.

Getting people to learn fiscal discipline when they’re young will help them down the road, so opening locations in high schools where students can learn and practice this concept made sense, said Mark Cummins, president and CEO of the Minnesota Credit Union Network.

St. Paul-based Hiway Federal Credit Union (No. 5 on this year’s List) opened a location at Johnson Senior High last year and recently opened another at Highland Park Senior High.

Roughly 100 students have accounts at Hiway’s two locations, but it’s not viewed as a business plan for the credit union to get rich.

“Nobody goes into this thinking it’s going to be the next big thing to make money,” said Dave Boden, president and CEO of Hiway.

Johnson senior Sunshine Noel, who works at the Hiway branch in her school, sees value in the job training and money management she’s learned. “High school is a step away from college, and college is not cheap. Why not put a branch in a high school so we can learn about money?”

Her principal, Micheal Thompson, went a step further. He said he recently talked with a student who was worried that what they learned in high school wouldn’t transfer to the “real world” after graduation.

“He’s about 70 percent right,” Johnson said, quickly noting that the worried student was also 30 percent “way off.”



Since 2011, a number of credit unions have started working with Minnesota high schools, opening branches in the schools and hiring students to staff them.

HomeTown Federal Credit Union: Opened branch in Owatonna High School in 2011

St. Paul Federal Credit Union: Opened St. Paul branches at Como Park High School in 2012
and Harding High School in 2013

Ideal Credit Union: Opened branch at Tartan High School in Oakdale in 2013

North Star Credit Union: Opened branch at North Woods School in Cook in 2014 and South Ridge School in Culver in 2015

Royal Credit Union: Opened branch at Eden Prairie High School in 2015

Hiway Federal Credit Union: Opened St. Paul branches at Johnson High School in 2015 and Highland Park High School this month


Follow the links on the stories below to read more about the outstanding programs, new initiatives and well-deserved recognition received by your peers recently. Got news of your own? Send stories, pitches, press releases and published articles to MnCUN Communications Specialist Laura Whittet



Save the Dates - Upcoming Educational Opportunities

  • Network Orientation: August 4, Hiway Federal Credit Union, 111 Empire Drive, St. Paul. Learn about 360-degree advocacy and all that your trade associations, MnCUN and CUNA, do for your credit union. This free event is open to all - from front line staff to CEOs, brand new employees to seasoned veterans.
  • Fall Leadership Conference: September 9-11, Madden’s Resort, Brainerd. This event features industry experts providing insight and relevant information on top credit union issues.

More information and registration for both events will be available mid-June.




Credit union professionals are encouraged to join their peers at the upcoming Minnesota Credit Union Network Financial Literacy Peer-to-Peer (P2P) meeting. P2Ps includes time for personal introductions, lunch and discussion.

The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation is hosting a complimentary Financial Education P2P for credit union financial education professionals. Whether you already provide financial education or outreach to your members, or are exploring the opportunity to do so, all are welcome!

Date: Thursday, June 23

Time: 12:30-3:30 p.m.

Location: Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, Roseville

This opportunity will include a presentation from Lori Hendrickson and Becky Hagen Jokela, University of Minnesota Extension staff, who will give an overview on preparing to teach youth - how to create a safe place to learn, learning styles and activity, respecting culture and experiences – as well as provide an overview of the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) and its free turnkey financial education program from grades 8-12, NEFE’s High School Financial Planning Program® (HSFPP).Lunch will be provided.

This event is in-person only. More information and registration is available on the MnCUN event calendar.




Registration is open for the MN Credit Union Foundation’s 3rd Annual Financial Literacy 5k – kids’ fun run and family walk/run – all proceeds from the race are used to help fund financial education grants.

The event will be held on July 9 at Lake Normandale Bandshell in Bloomington.

Three ways to register:

  1. Register online - Each member of your credit union team can register online. Go to the event page, select the 5K or Kids Fun Run tab, enter as a “guest”, agree to the applicable waivers, fill in your information and participant information. For those credit unions that have participated in the past, your team should be listed - if not, please email me and I’ll make sure to add your credit union so your employees can easily add your credit union as a “team.” Currently, payments can only be made individually online.

  2. Paper registration – A printable PDF version of the registration form is available to download here. Have each individual for your team complete and sign the waiver.  Age categories are:  19 & under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70 and over. Nominate someone to collect and send in all forms with one check payable to SoleMOTION at the address indicated, along with some indication of your credit union name/team.

  3. Day of event - Not sure yet if you will be able to participate? You can also do walk up registration the day of the event.

Discounted early bird registration is open until June 25.

For more information, see the 5K page. Follow the Financial Literacy 5K on Facebook for updates.

Minnesota Credit Union Network
555 Wabasha Street N, Suite 200
St. Paul, MN 55102

(651) 288-5170
(800) 477-1034