75 CU Reps On Hand In Florida For Bill's Passage

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More than 75 credit union volunteers and staff from Florida were on hand when the Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance unanimously approved a bill last week that would expand the community chartering powers of state-chartered credit unions.

The bill would amend the definition of a community charter from the current one enabling a credit union to serve anyone who "resides" in a given area to anyone who "resides or works" in an area, to make it comporm more to the definition for federal charters that can serve anyone who 'resides, works or worships' in a locality, according to Mark Ivester, spokesman for the Florida CU League.

The only opposition voiced to the bill was by the Florida Bankers Association which charged the new powers would lead to explosive growth of credit unions. Alex Sanchez, president of the banking group insisted that credit unions were expanding "way beyond their original purposes." But the panel passed the bill anyway and sent it on for a vote by the full Senate.

A similar bill is making its way through the House, Ivester told The Credit Union Journal. Florida credit unions already enjoy some of the broadest community chartering powers, with some credit unions authorized to serve multiple counties with as many as five or six million residents.

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