NASHVILLE, Tenn.–A resolution that emerged during the National Conference of State Legislatures’ meeting here that the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) be applied to credit unions was thwarted, thanks to efforts by Vice Chairman and Rhode Island Representative Brian P. Kennedy, according to the Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA).
The CCUA said it notified Kennedy while the meeting was underway that the resolution was being put forward.
“Without hesitation, based on his knowledge and experience with his constituent credit unions, such as Westerly Community Credit Union, and his service as speaker pro tempore and member of the House Committee on Corporations in the Rhode Island General Assembly, he notified NCSL of his objection to the resolution and plans to table the measure pending corrections,” the CCUA reported.
What Group Does
The National Conference of State Legislatures is a bipartisan, non-governmental organization serving as a national trade association for the members and staff of state legislatures. The group is currently holding its annual Legislative Summit at which approximately 6,000 people are in attendance, including credit union representatives.
“This year, an issue relative to the Community Reinvestment Act and its application to credit unions arose, referred to as the Resolution to Protect the Community Reinvestment Act,” the CCUA stated. “More specifically, NCSL’s Communications, Financial Services & Interstate Commerce Standing Committee proposed the resolution for consideration which would apply CRA to all credit unions.”
Former NCUA Chair Weighs In
The CCUA said former NCUA Chairman and member of the Oregon legislature Rick Metsger also weighed in on the issue and said “applying CRA to credit unions is both unnecessary and counterproductive,” and that banks had been subjected to CRA because of their “documented history of refusing to make housing loans to low-income individuals.”
The CCUA said Kennedy championed the credit union position and personally addressed his colleagues and requested that the resolution be amended to remove the credit union CRA measure or be tabled. The resolution was tabled.
The CCUA represents CUs in Massachusetts (where state charters must comply with CRA), New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Delaware.