Quote of the Week:

08/24/2012

 
The impersonal hand of government can never replace the helping hand of a neighbor. 

~Hubert H. Humphrey

 
 
 
 
Spend more than a few months in Wyoming and you’ll understand how unique the state is – “one long Main Street” is an oft-used phrase by native Wyomingites. This extends to the political season as well. Wyoming is an odd political animal compared to other states with a similarly conservative population. Sen. Chris Rothfuss (D-Laramie) is fond of describing Wyoming’s legislature as a true citizen body, referencing the availability of legislators to their constituents, and none are truly professional politicians.

Wyoming legislators serve for roughly 40 days in an odd year – less than a month in even years – then return to everyday life within their own districts. Several legislators have done this cycle of traveling to Cheyenne every winter for more than a decade. With an incumbency rate hovering over 90 percent, Wyoming’s state legislature remains relatively stable through each election cycle.

This election year, however, a perfect storm of factors have the potential to unseat a handful of moderate GOP members and change the moderate character of the legislative body.  Read More

 
 
On Thursday, August 30, 2012 a Grassroots morning training for all new credit union LPCs (or any LPC who has not had the opportunity to attend one of these meetings) will be held in the Sterner Center at the Association office in downtown Denver starting at 8:30 a.m.  The meetings include lunch and in the afternoon the GSG (Grassroots Strategy Group) meeting will begin at 12:30 and continue to approximately 4:00 p.m. 

Please contact Chris Kemm at ckemm@mwcua.com or Deb Larrabee at dlarrabee@mwcua.com if you have any questions and/or to register for the meeting(s).  We need your RSVP to secure your lunch.

 
 
Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler has mailed letters to about 4,000 registered voters his office suspects may be noncitizens, asking them to either verify that they have become citizens or to voluntarily remove themselves from the state's voter rolls.

The letters, sent Wednesday to people who used a non-citizen identification when they applied for a Colorado driver's license and who also are registered to vote, includes a "verification of voter eligibility" form for people who have become citizens to fill out and return.  Read More

 
 
Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva today highlighted the recent fourth anniversary of the passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill as military servicemen and servicewomen - and the entire country - mark August as Military Servicewomen’s Month. The new GI Bill has extended educational benefits to approximately 773,000 Americans, covering the cost of tuition, fees, housing and books as veterans or their eligible dependents seek higher education degrees.  Read More

 
 
Incumbent Congressman Paul Gosar is facing a challenge from State Senator Ron Gould.

Earlier this year, Gosar called himself one of the most successful freshmen legislators. The facts would certainly seem to bear that out.  Gosar managed to get one of his bills signed into law by President Barack Obama, one of only 12 first-term congressmen to do so.   "I have enjoyed my first term as a congressman," said Rep. Gosar.  "Getting to know the people and empowering them to be part of the solution process.  That's what's magical. I represent the best district in the United States."

State Sen. Gould, however, doesn't put much stock in Gosar's accomplishments. Read More

 
 
More than 100 small credit unions across the country will improve service, provide training, and expand community outreach with the help of $1.4 million in technical assistance grants from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). 

“NCUA works hard to support America’s small credit unions, and these grants are one way of giving them the essential tools they need to do their work,” said NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz. “These credit unions are an important part of their communities and their local economies. This money goes to work to improve the lives of the members and reinforce our community service mission.”  Read More

 
 
Though credit unions aren't entirely opposed to service fees, they are still friendlier to consumers in terms of checking account and overdraft fees, a new Bankrate.com survey found.

Of the nation's 50 largest credit unions, nearly three-quarters still offer free checking accounts with no minimum balance requirement, compared to 45 percent of banks.  Read More

 
 
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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Releases Final Rule

On Tuesday, August 7th, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its final rule regarding the safe harbor exemption from the remittance transfers final rule.  While the final is a slight improvement over the 25 transfers per year in the proposal, CUNA and leagues had repeatedly urged the CFPB to increase its proposed safe harbor for credit unions and other providers to no less than 1,000 transfers per year.  However, the final rule only permits an exemption for providers that transmit 100 or fewer remittances a year.

The remittances final rule applies to credit unions and financial institutions that provide consumers with international electronic funds transfer services, because it broadly defines the term "remittance transfers" to include virtually all cross-border electronic funds transfers initiated by consumers in the U.S., including international ACH, international wire transfers, products such as WOCCU’s IRnet, and money transfer organizations.  The final rule will require new disclosure and other requirements for institutions covered by the rule, effective on February 7, 2013.

CUNA and leagues remain very concerned that the remittance transfers final rule will impose high compliance costs and legal liabilities on credit unions.

We have worked with the leagues, credit unions and other trade associations to advocate for meaningful relief during the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act and throughout the rulemaking process over the past two years.  
    
We are reviewing our options including appealing the rule with the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), which can overturn CFPB rules.  We will continue to work with the leagues and keep you posted on all our efforts to address concerns with the rule.

– by CUNA President, Bill Cheney