Based on the feedback of credit unions, there is no more important function for the League than the Governmental Affairs department, especially in the two areas of legislative and regulatory advocacy.
The consolidation of the Alabama and Florida Leagues has given the League the resources to maximize its effectiveness as an advocate for credit unions. The LSCU GA department will be fully staffed by the end of the month, and will have eight full-time professionals, as well as outside contract lobbyists, dedicated to the legislative, regulatory, and political issues that are important to credit unions.
Here's a look at how the new department will look.
After an intensive search and interview process, the League has hired two new full time directors of legislative affairs, one in each state. Both directors will focus the vast majority of their time on advocating for credit unions in Montgomery and Tallahassee as well as back in the legislative districts.
In Alabama, Jason Cochran will be the new LSCU Director of Legislative Affairs. This is a newly created state advocacy position with the promotion last year of Will McCarty to SVP of Governmental Affairs. Jason comes to the LSCU most recently from the Alabama State Employees Association where he worked for seven years, serving as its director of Governmental Affairs. Jason brings a record of legislative success, as well as significant experience in political and grassroots advocacy and a great understanding of trade association dynamics. Jason’s first day with the LSCU is Jan. 24.
In Florida, Jared Ross comes to the League from the American Cancer Society, where he has been the director of Public Policy since 2006. He is an attorney with a law degree from Florida State University. Jared has experience lobbying in Tallahassee and has developed a great working relationship with state lawmakers and staff. Jared’s first day with the League will be Jan. 25. Regulatory Affairs
The League is committed to doing the best legislative advocacy for credit unions as possible. What happens in the halls of Congress and the state capitols is only one part of the equation that has a significant impact on credit unions ability to best meet the needs of their members. The regulatory burden, the increasingly complex set of rules, and the pressure from examiners all make serving members that much more difficult and expensive.
Credit union responses to the League’s 2010 Member Survey reflect the need that exists for regulatory assistance. With two full-time professionals in Regulatory Affairs, the League is well positioned to assist credit unions with their growing compliance burden as well as be a greater advocate on their behalf with state and federal regulators. Compliance Training
LSCU Vice President of Regulatory Affairs & Compliance Training Bill Berg has more than 20-years experience in training credit union executives, staff, and board members on numerous compliance issues. In 2011, the League is once again putting Bill back on the road offering compliance training to credit unions and chapters on a variety of timely issues. Some training will be more in-depth, and will be designed to give credit unions the “nuts and bolts” of a particular issue, and complement the offerings of the League’s Education Department. For the League, this is a great demonstration of the value of affiliation to member credit unions. To discuss compliance training needs, contact Bill Berg at 866.231.0545 ext. 1028. Regulatory Advocacy
Learning to comply with new or changing regulations is important, but as an advocacy organization, the League is also committed to minimizing the regulatory burden and making the job of credit unions about serving members. Part of the reorganized focus on Regulatory Affairs will be to advocate the credit union position before regulatory agencies, such as the NCUA, Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, and both state regulators.
LSCU Director of Compliance Scott Morris will be the point person for the League's regulatory advocacy efforts. Scott has great experience in financial regulatory matters and will be concentrating his efforts on developing relationships with regulators and examiners, and representing credit unions before different agencies. The League will focus this area on developing and distributing concise summaries of proposed rule changes, developing official League Comment Letters on proposals, as well as helping credit unions develop their own comments. The League has invested in new software which will make it easy for credit unions to send comment letters to agencies, explaining how proposed rules will affect membership.
The League understands the challenges facing credit unions, and it is constantly exploring ways to increase or refine Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy. The LSCU's investment in the GA department is part of a long-range plan to harness the benefits of consolidation, and make the LSCU the best resource for member credit unions. For more questions regarding the expanded GA staff, contact LSCU SVP, Governmental Affairs
Will McCarty at 866.231.0545 ext. 2137.