Alabama League Assembles Group With Contacts Among Legislature

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The Alabama league has put together a group of credit union officials with access to members of the state legislature so that they can be the "front line" to protect CUs from any threats.

"Some of them are CEOs, some are volunteer directors. The criteria is that they must have an established personal relationship with a member of the legislature," said Gary Wolter, president of the Alabama Credit Union League.

The so-called 'CU Ambassadors" can be "called on to play in the event that we have a legislative emergency," he added.

While the state legislature in Montgomery is "heavily Democratic," party affiliation was not considered a selection criteria by the league, which represents the state's 168 credit unions and their 1.5 million members.

An emergency situation "could be anything" he said.

"We are all very much aware of bank attacks, particularly in Utah. We are readying ourselves for that potentiality," he said.

In addition, "our state, like many states, has a very large shortfall in its budget and we are concerned that credit unions could be impacted in some way," he added. Even "any bill introduced could unintentionally harm credit unions," he said.

In addition to the group of "ambassadors," the league does its own lobbying in the state legislature and maintains contact with key members or the administration.

"The cost is really minimum. The expenses of the inaugural meetings that we had were paid by the individual credit unions," he said.

At the end of March a group of more than 50 credit union representatives had their inaugural meeting in Montgomery to get the "CU Ambassadors" group started, he said.

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