Ohio CU Reform Headed To Governor'sDesk

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - (12/22/05) -- State chartered credit unions willget expanded powers to offer new services and ease operationalrestrictions under a credit union reform bill passed by the statelegislature in last week's final days of this year's session. Thebill, the first major rewrite of the state's statute since 1987,will allow state chartered credit unions to set up student-runbranches in schools, accept probate guardianship funds, easerestrictions on short-term loans, and facilitate electronic boardmeetings, voting and e-commerce. It also includes a provisionallowing a credit union to apply with the Secretary of State todesignate any person to act as a police officer at their premises,which is currently allowed for banks and savings and loans. But thecredit union lobby was forced to leave out several provisionsoriginally sought, like the ability to offer check cashing and wiretransfers to non-members within a field of membership; and theauthority to offer trust services, accept municipal deposits; andto issue secondary capital. John Kozlowski, general counsel for theOhio CU League, said the bill was carefully crafted duringnegotiations with top legislators, state regulators and the bankinglobby. "The way the legislative process works you basically have tosit down with the legislative leaders, the regulators and you talkto all the interested parties," Kozlowski told The Credit UnionJournal.

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