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Nevada credit union leaders at the Nevada State Legislature in Carson City.
Nevada credit union leaders at the Nevada State Legislature in Carson City.

CUs Have Positive Talks with State Lawmakers in Carson City

Credit union leaders from across Nevada gathered in Carson City this past week for the 2023 Nevada Government Relations Rally (GRR), hosted by the Nevada Credit Union League so that advocates could meet face to face with lawmakers serving in the Nevada State Legislature.

Wednesday morning started off with a legislative briefing from the League, which was highlighted by speeches from Nevada Lieutenant Governor Stavros Anthony and Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development Executive Director Tom Burns.

After the briefing, credit union leaders experienced a full day of legislative meetings with their state representatives. Nevada’s legislative session only gathers once every other year due to its unique schedule and structure.

Visits were productive as credit union delegations discussed the industry’s not-for-profit member-owner cooperative structure, contributions to local financial wellbeing, and the unique relationship credit unions have with their members as they uniquely serve those individuals and households across the state.

Additionally, the potential for super-priority lien legislation was in focus as lawmakers were educated on the fact that these types of bills have been introduced in prior legislative sessions and are harmful to credit unions and their members. Credit union leaders ended with a request to “please vote no” if any super-priority lien bill arises in this year’s session.

Lastly, the impact of interest rates on housing affordability was discussed. Credit union leaders asked that if any housing affordability legislation is introduced (or if there are stakeholder discussions) that lawmakers would consider including credit unions in the conversation as trusted community lenders to help with the solution. They also shared examples of helping members through offering first-time homebuyer and downpayment assistance programs, creative lending products, and homebuyer education.

Attendees ended their conversations by offering to be a resource for lawmakers on any upcoming legislation or if legislators hear of any bills they feel will impact local credit unions. They left a facts-and-figures resource for each legislator’s office that touted how 14 credit unions in Nevada (across eight counties) currently serve 391,000 members and manage $7.7 billion in assets, $4.2 billion in loans, $7 billion in deposits, and spend $362 million annually on 1,250 employees and other operations — providing a direct economic impact to local communities.

Their lobby visits from morning to afternoon also revolved around an intermittent break to attend the Senate floor session. During this session, Sen. Roberta Lange (D-Las Vegas) — joined by CEOs and leaders from attending credit unions — recognized the League and the amazing work local credit unions across the state are accomplishing on behalf of their members.

After a long and fruitful day of legislative visits, attendees were joined by a dozen legislators and the lieutenant governor for the League’s evening reception.

“Thank you to all attendees and credit unions that sent representation to the Nevada Government Relations Rally,” said Robert Wilson, senior vice president of state government affairs for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. “Your strong support and advocacy on behalf of all Nevada credit unions was evident by your attendance in Carson City this year, as well as your continuing commitment to serving your members at the local level. The League looks forward to serving all credit unions in the state throughout 2023.”

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