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New legislation would reduce CU board meeting requirements

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Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., introduced on Wednesday legislation that would eliminate the need for credit union boards to meet at least once per month as mandated by the Federal Credit Union Act.

The Board Governance Modernization Act would require boards to meet no more than six times per year. The bill is the third piece of credit union modernization legislation introduced in Congress this week. Porter is sponsoring the bill with Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev.

“Credit unions play an essential role in our banking ecosystem,” Porter said during a speech at the Credit Union National Association’s Governmental Affairs Conference. “We need to help credit unions continue to thrive and provide necessary services to our communities, which means that we need to tailor regulatory requirements to their unique size and needs.”

CUNA along with the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues worked with lawmakers to craft the bill. Modernizing the Federal Credit Union Act is the top priority for the groups this year and is “vitally important,” Jeremy Empol, vice president of federal government affairs for the leagues, said in a press release.

Earlier this week, Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Richard Burr, R-N.C., introduced the Credit Union Fairness Act, which would no longer require a credit union to provide the National Credit Union Administration names of a CU’s loan officers. The legislation would also remove outdated duties for credit union boards.

The Credit Union Governance Modernization Act, introduced by Sens. Tina Smith, D-Minn., and Ben Sasse, R-Neb., on Monday, would make it easier to expel credit union members.

That bill and others, said Ryan Donovan, chief advocacy officer at CUNA, are small parts of “a broader effort we’ve undertaken over the last several years to review the Federal Credit Union Act. There’s probably 20 or 25 changes that we’ve identified working with a group of our members over the years. So instead of putting them all together into a single bill, what we’re trying to do is take smaller pieces of that to Congress so they can be considered on their own merits.”

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