League officials representing credit unions continued the pre-session whirlwind in Richmond Tuesday afternoon by attending the Senate Republican reception and luncheon. At the event, League President Rick Pillow and Director of Governmental Affairs Karin Sherbin talked with most members of the Senate Republican Caucus, including Bill Stanley who will be the Senate patron of the League bill to streamline bylaw procedures for state chartered credit unions.
Stanley, who at the Piedmont Chapter’s legislative night last August told credit union members that he joined Navy FCU as a teenager, told League staff he was happy to help credit unions with the bill.
Del. Jackson Miller is the patron of the House version, which already has received a number, HB214.
At the event League representatives talked with additional senators: John Watkins (who is reportedly going to be named the chairman of Commerce and Labor), Leader Emeritus Walter Stosch, Majority Leader Tommy Norment, Mark Obenshain (who is considering a run for Attorney General), Caucus Whip Jill Holtzmann Vogel, Frank Ruff, Bill Carrico, Dick Black, Steve Martin, Emmett Hanger, and Caucus Vice Chairman Steve Newman.
Sen. Norment joked with the audience of more than 200 that reporters have told him they expect pyrotechnics when the Senate convenes tomorrow. The Senate is divided 20-20 between Republicans and Democrats, and both claim the majority. Both Norment and Democrat Sen. Dick Saslaw both claim the title of Majority Leader in the chamber. The legislators will have to thrash out the issues of titles and committee memberships as the first order of business.
After the fundraiser, Pillow and Sherbin, joined by Senior Vice President David Miles and League lobbyist Whitt Clement, went to a meeting at the General Assembly Building with House Democratic leaders. Minority Leader David Toscano, Minority Caucus Chairman Mark Sickles, and Del.Vivian Watts spent Monday and Tuesday meeting with groups to learn about their issues for the session. Pillow explained that credit unions are maintaining their stance on the foreclosure issue, i.e. legislation has to balance the need to protect consumers with the understanding that a new law would not impede the operational capability of a credit union. Miles specified that credit unions would oppose a lengthy extension of the foreclosure process. So far only one bill has been filed on foreclosure but more are expected.
As for the credit union legislation on streamlining the bylaw process, Clement assured the legislators that the bill applies to standard operational bylaws and that the state Bureau of Financial Institutions supports the change. He also noted that the banks don’t oppose it because Field-of-Membership issues still would have to go before the BFI.
Before entering the General Assembly Building, League staff ran across Del. Jackson Miller and again thanked him for being the patron of the credit union bylaw bill.