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Gov. Jay Inslee signs House Bill No. 1247 on April 8, 2019. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Kristine Reeves and goes into effect July 28. Photo courtesy of Washington State Legislative Support Services.
Gov. Jay Inslee signs House Bill No. 1247 on April 8, 2019. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Kristine Reeves and goes into effect July 28. Photo courtesy of Washington State Legislative Support Services.
Washington Legislature Updates Credit Union Act, Ensuring Better Service to 4.3 Million Consumers (Photo) - 04/09/19

Washington Legislature Updates Credit Union Act, Ensuring Better Service to 4.3 Million Consumers

Legislation passes with bipartisan support.

SEATAC, Wash. (April 9, 2019) — Washington’s not-for-profit, cooperative credit unions – the financial services partner to 4.3 million Washingtonians – can now better serve their members, thanks to a modernized Credit Union Act. Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1247 into law this week, and it will take effect July 28.

The law makes common sense updates to the Credit Union Act. One of the provisions allows members to interact with their credit unions more easily by allowing them to participate in virtual membership meetings. They can learn more about their credit union’s financial strength and services and monitor the work of their member-driven Board of Directors. Previously, state law required members to attend meetings on location, which may not have been conveniently located near their homes or workplaces.  

Another update adds clarity for state regulators to provide strong oversight of credit unions, which protect more than $55 billion in assets.

The legislation was sponsored with bipartisan support by Representatives Kristine Reeves (D-Federal Way) and Larry Hoff (R-Vancouver).

“As a working mom who has to balance a family budget, I know that access to reliable financial institutions is critical to my family’s success,” Reeves said. “I am proud to support legislation that promotes equal access to financial opportunity for working families and ensures continued transparency and accountability of our state’s not-for-profit credit unions.”

Prior to beginning his legislative service, Rep. Hoff worked in the financial services industry for more than three decades, most recently as CEO of Longview, Washington-based Fibre Federal Credit Union.

“I am always pleased when legislation supports efficiencies in any industry, particularly one in which I served for 35 years,” Hoff said.

Senators Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah), Lynda Wilson (R-Vancouver), and Annette Cleveland (D-Vancouver) sponsored the companion bill in the Senate. It passed in both chambers with unanimous support.

“Credit unions are the trusted stewards of their members’ finances,” said Joe Adamack, Vice President of Legislative Affairs for Washington, Northwest Credit Union Association. “We appreciate bipartisan support for this important modernization of the Credit Union Act.”

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The Northwest Credit Union Association is the trade association representing over 180 not-for-profit, cooperative credit unions in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, and their 7.3  million consumer members. Those members are served by a professional workforce of 18,700 professionals. According to an independent analysis by economists at ECONorthwest, Northwest credit unions drove a positive economic impact of $7.8 billion last year. For information on how to join a credit union, please visit: https://yourmoneyfurther.com