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Bankers Kill Bill In California

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. A bill in the California State Assembly that would have allowed state-chartered credit unions to cash checks and wire money for potential members has died in committee. The California league blamed heavy bank lobbying for killing the bill in the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee. "It's a shame that California's bankers have chosen to sacrifice the interests of 4.5 million Californians for the sake of their 50-year-old vendetta against credit unions," said David Chatfield, president/CEO of the California CU League. "The bankers' actions ensure that a huge segment of the state's population will continue to go without traditional financial services like checking accounts, and will continue to pay exorbitant prices to cash paychecks and send money to their families."

Utah GOP Issues CU Caution

SALT LAKE CITY-A group of Republican state lawmakers, who control both the House and Senate, mailed a letter to the state's registered Republicans last week warning them of negative campaign tactics by credit unions prior to the approaching elections. The letter was signed by two senators and eight representatives, including House Speaker Martin Stephens, who was attacked in a mass-mailing by credit unions just prior to this spring's gubernatorial primary, in which he ran unsuccessfully.

The letter warns voters of "the possibility of negative campaign maneuvers" by "hired guns" for Utah credit unions that may affect this year's elections. Both Stephens and former House Majority Leader Kevin Garn, both bankers, have been on the short end of the credit union-bankers battles in recent years, as Garn was defeated in the 2002 Republican primary for Congress by credit union-backed Rob Bishop. In the days before the May 8 Republican convention, the Utah League of CUs mailed a letter blaming Stephens, VP with Zions Bank, for the "savage" treatment CUs received during Stephens' six years as Speaker of the House. During that time, the legislature reined in FOM powers and threatened to impose a tax on state-chartered CUs.

NH CU OK'd To Serve Military

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.-In one of the biggest field of membership expansions ever, state regulators have approved an application by Service CU to serve all military and civilian employees, as well as retirees, of the Department of Defense, making it the first CU to serve all U.S. military personnel.

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