LSCU eSignal Weekly
LSCU eNews Weekly April 15, 2013
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LSCU eNews Weekly
In This Issue
President's Point
Credit unions hosting Costa Rican interns
LSCU Top Headlines
This week's top League headlines
Governmental Affairs News
This week in Alabama politics: State Credit Union Act receives House hearing
Alabama State GAC video now online
This week in Florida politics: forclosure bill to be heard in Senate Judiciary and more
Washington Update: cybersecurity legislation, regulatory burden, and finance reform
Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report - week of April 15, 2013
Compliance calendar and training
Education News
ALM training coming up May 7-8 in Birmingham
Are you prepared for this year's hurricane season? Disaster Recovery Conference can help
Cooperative Initiatives News
NCUF opens 2014 Wegner Award nominations
Still time to register for new Credit Union Certified Financial Counselor training, informational webinar materials available online
Communications News
First quarter issue of Signal Magazine now online
LEVERAGE News
CUNA Mutual Group offers credit union protection webinars
News from You
Innovations FCU opens new Back Beach branch
Alabama Telco CU supports financial literacy for youth month
EMPLOYMENT
View available credit union jobs
In This Issue
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President's Point

Credit unions hosting Costa Rican interns

Over the next couple of months, some Alabama and Florida credit unions are taking part in an exciting program through the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), the U.S. State Department and the LSCU & Affiliates. Eight emerging Costa Rican credit union leaders are spending time in credit unions across both states gaining valuable experience through the State Department’s Professional Fellows Program. The LSCU & Affiliates has had a relationship with Costa Rican credit unions since 2005 and supported WOCCU’s grant application with the U.S. State Department, which fully funds the project.

On April 10, the Costa Rican interns began gaining experience at Alabama CU, CFE FCU, Dade County FCU, floridacentral CU, Innovations FCU, Martin FCU, Redstone FCU, Suncoast Schools FCU, and the LSCU & Affiliates. The Professional Fellows program is designed to facilitate idea exchanges, promote foreign language skill development, enhance cultural diversity, and improve problem-solving skills as they relate to credit union development and management. In addition, the program focuses on helping credit unions find new ways to attract younger members. For the FEDEAC intern visiting the League, we will be showing her how the LSCU provides a wide array of services to our member credit unions.

When state leagues enter into international partnerships, it usually means a team of credit unions from the states visiting the international credit union and vice versa. The League has been working with WOCCU for a couple of years to enhance the experience for Costa Rican credit unions, as well as our credit unions from Alabama and Florida. The Fellows Program provides “real world” experience instead of just a couple of days of presentations and credit union visits. These emerging leaders will bring this month-long experience back to their credit unions in Costa Rica to help them improve how they serve their members.

After the first week, our credit unions have really embraced the interns and say they are jumping right in and working closely with their American counterparts. Manfred Aguero, the head of treasury at Coopenae Credit Union, the largest credit union in Costa Rica and Central America, is spending three weeks at Suncoast Schools in Tampa. Manfred will learn from the largest credit union in Florida. The experience will be so much richer than just a quick visit. Innovations FCU in Panama City sent a team to the airport to greet Cristina Zuniga. A welcome that made her feel right at home.

The LSCU & Affiliates is hosting Maria del Milagro Vargas. She will be with us for two weeks and then head to Dade County FCU in Miami for her final two weeks. She is interested in innovation and technology, development of new products, and social networks. Maria is spending time in the field with our cooperative initiatives staff, she will attend this week’s Chapter Leaders Conference, and then come to Tallahassee for a few days before heading to Miami.   

In June, credit union officials from the United States will have the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica to spend two weeks in a credit union. There is still time to apply for this fully funded exchange trip, but time is running out. Contact LSCU VP, Cooperative Initiatives Laura Vann for more information. In the meantime, you can follow the interns’ progress through the League’s Facebook page. We have posted some of their pictures with their credit unions. We will try to update as often as possible. "Like" the Facebook page to see the pictures and to post a message for the interns.  

 Where’s Patrick: This week I will be in Tallahassee spending the bulk of my time preparing for our LSCU & Affiliates board meetings next week in Birmingham. This is the first full-week I’ve been back in Tallahassee in the last 10 weeks, so I am going to enjoy spending time with my family and sleeping in my own bed! You can see my schedule for the next two weeks by clicking on “Where’s Patrick?” 

Visit the LSCU Video Room to see the first quarter President's Report video. Send me any feedback to this column.
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LSCU Top Headlines
This week's top League headlines

Public hearing highlights Alabama State GAC
The Alabama State GAC, April 9-10 in Montgomery, provided credit unions with two opportunities to meet with their lawmakers. Credit unions were also able to attend a House Financial Services Committee public hearing on HB 500, an update to the State Credit Union Act. To read more about the Alabama State GAC and how one speaker told credit unions to forget about statewide politics, visit the LSCU Top Stories.

LSCU's La Pine now Credit Union House treasurer.
Click here to view the latest Credit Union House newsletter, featuring the new board members and hall of fame inductees. 

a Smarter Choice campaign hits Times Square
a Smarter Choice ad will be running on the Times Square CBS video board from April 15-July 4. Times Square gets traffic of a million people a day from all over the country. The ad will be a springboard for media opportunities for financial literacy month and for ACUC. For more information about the a Smarter Choice initiative click here. [ Return to Top ]

Governmental Affairs News
This week in Alabama politics: State Credit Union Act receives House hearing

State Credit Union Act Update Receives House Hearing
Last Wednesday the House Financial Services Committee held a public hearing on the LSCU State Credit Union Act Update legislation. The hearing was called by the Alabama Association for Justice, formerly the Trial Lawyers Association, because they originally had concerns regarding the limited liability for board members that is in the bill. Just before the hearing began, most of the issues were addressed. The legislation should be up for a vote at the next committee meeting.

The League was appreciative to the more than 30 credit union executives, in town for the State GAC, who were able to show support for the legislation in person. The House Financial Services Committee is expected to meet again on April 17 where the legislation can be voted out.

Last Week in The Legislature
The Legislature met for a rare three-day work week completing work on 20 of the 30 legislative work days. The House took up the State Education Budget and also passed a two percent pay raise for education employees, as well as approving legislation committing the State to pay for teacher’s liability insurance. Democratic leaders in the Senate continued their filibuster in protest of the Alabama Accountability Law (school flexibility and failing school transfer) but were met with cloture petitions, cutting off debate. The Senate managed to pass legislation aimed at reducing fraud in the State’s public assistance programs and legislation coordinating the State’s auto fleet in an effort to decrease costs.

The governor announced this week that he would run for a second term. He has already drawn an opponent. Former Morgan County Commissioner Stacey Lee George announced this week that he would challenge Gov. Robert Bentley in the Republican Primary. Gov. Bentley announced that he will run on his economic development record, while George advocates a state lottery.

The House and Senate will return to Montgomery next Tuesday, April 16.  

Follow the GA team legislative updates on Twitter and Facebook.

For questions regarding legislative affairs issues in Alabama, contact LSCU Director, Governmental Affairs - Alabama Jason Cochran at 866.231.0545, ext. 2159.
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Alabama State GAC video now online

The wrap-up video for the Alabama State GAC has been posted in the LSCU video room. The video goes inside the House Financial Services Committee hearing on HB 500, the update to the State Credit Union Act.

The video also looks at why more credit unions need to get involved in advocacy and the importance of understanding the legislative and regulatory environment.

If you have trouble viewing the video, contact LSCU VP of Communications Mike Bridges at 866.231.0545 ext. 1022.  [ Return to Top ]

This week in Florida politics: forclosure bill to be heard in Senate Judiciary and more

Foreclosure bill to be heard Monday, April 15 in Senate Judiciary
Last week, the foreclosure bill was scheduled for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee but was not heard when they simply ran out of time; it is now on the agenda for the April 15 afternoon committee meeting. The bill speeds up the show cause hearing in foreclosure proceedings and allows third-party lienholders, such as apartment complexes, to begin foreclosure cases. If the bill passes out of committee on April 15, it still has two more committee stops, Appropriations and Rules, before it heads to the Senate floor.

House passes $74.4 billion budget
On Friday, the House passed a $74.4 billion spending plan for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. This sets up budget talks with the Senate in the remaining three weeks of the legislative session. Like the Senate, the House provides more money for state workers, teachers, and education. The starkest difference between the chambers is the approach to possible Medicaid expansion as outlined by the federal Affordable Care Act. Neither chamber wants to expand the program but the Senate prefers a plan that would accept federal money to pay for premiums for private health care plans. The House unveiled a plan this week that would use only state funding for assistance to low-income families. The two sides also have competing plans to spend $200 million in funds from a foreclosure fraud settlement with large banks; the Senate preferring to spend more on affordable housing programs, while the House would set aside money for down payment assistance for qualifying home buyers.

Legislators rake in the big bucks
Republican state lawmakers have stockpiled more than $1 million in each chamber of the Florida Legislature, to scare off opposition or assure their party's continued control of the House and Senate. In comparison, Democratic lawmakers have amassed less than $500,000 for their re-election campaigns in both chambers. Coincidentally, legislators are considering a package of campaign-finance reforms that might raise the limit on individual donations. Gov. Scott's opposition to increasing the $500 cap probably doomed that idea for the session, leaders on elections issues said this week.

If you have any questions on any of the legislative issues mentioned above contact LSCU Director, Legislative Affairs, Jennifer Martin, 866.231.0545 ext. 1150. Get in on the conversation and get developing news and legislation updates from GA on Twitter and Facebook. [ Return to Top ]

Washington Update: cybersecurity legislation, regulatory burden, and finance reform

Floor Schedule
The House will meet at 12:00 p.m. April 15 to consider several bills under suspension of the rules, including H.R. 756, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2013. For the remainder of the week, the House will consider H.R. 624, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. The Senate will convene at 2 p.m. April 15 to resume consideration of S. 649, the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013.

To view a complete list of hearings we are following this week on both sides of the Capital click here.

Regulatory Relief Proposals
Last week, CUNA presented 35 regulatory relief proposals to the House Financial Services Committee. While these were outlined in the written testimony, a summary of this testimony is also available on the CUNA website. As the Committee determines how it intends to move forward with regulatory relief legislation for credit unions and small banks, the League, along with CUNA, will produce additional collateral material. In terms of next steps for this process, it is expect that after the hearing on Tuesday, the Committee will have a better idea of how it intends to proceed on regulatory relief legislation.

Additional Information
A new document has been added to the CUNA website called the Legislative Digest. This document, which is updated regularly, is a list and summary of all of the bills that CUNA is tracking on Capitol Hill. [ Return to Top ]

Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit was included in the Affordable Care Act. The credit is designed to encourage small employers to offer health insurance coverage for the first time or maintain coverage they already have.

Eligible credit unions may calculate the small business health care tax credit when they file income tax returns. The IRS provides forms and instructions indicating how eligible tax-exempt organizations, such as credit unions (which do not generally file income tax returns), will claim the credit.

May 15 is the annual date for the forms to be filed in order to receive the tax credit.

Visit the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit topic on the Tax Issues channel of your InfoSight for information that can help you determine if your credit is eligible for this credit. Learn, also, which IRS forms you should file and what the tax credit maximums are.

The current issues of the InfoSight eNewsletter for Alabama and Florida are now available on the InfoSight homepage in the left-hand column. Members must login to the League website with username and password in order to access InfoSight. After you are logged in to www.lscu.coop, click on the InfoSight tab. If you do not have access to the League website, click here to sign up.

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CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report - week of April 15, 2013

Each week CUNA provides credit unions a wealth of information through its Regulatory Advocacy Report. The report highlight for the week of April 15 include:

  • NCUA update on loan participations, CUSOs, emergency liquidity, and derivatives authority
  • CFPB publishes semi-annual report 
  • CFPB releases a new guide on the Ability to Repay and Qualified Mortgage Rule
  • CUNA comments to NIST on “critical infrastructure” cybersecurity framework

To read the most recent CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report, click here. [ Return to Top ]

Compliance calendar and training

April 2013

For the complete list of calendar dates and compliance trainings, visit the LSCU Compliance Calendar on InfoSight. 

*Note: To view InfoSight content, it is required to log in to www.lscu.coop for access. [ Return to Top ]

Education News
ALM training coming up May 7-8 in Birmingham

Deborah L. Rightmire, vice president of ALM for the Texas Credit Union League, will be instructing the ALM Essentials & Implementation Training, May 7-8, in Birmingham. 

The ALM Essentials Workshop is a full-day session designed for all credit union employees, board, and ALCO members who desire a better understanding of the basic asset/liability management process.

The ALM Implementation Workshop is also designed for credit union employees, board, and ALCO members, provides an overview to assist in understanding and implementing an effective asset liability management process in your credit union.

For more information, click the links above or visit the LSCU Events Calendar on www.lscu.coop.
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Are you prepared for this year's hurricane season? Disaster Recovery Conference can help

For 2013, Colorado State's Department of Atmospheric Science believes the Atlantic basin can expect 18 named storms, 95 named storm days, nine hurricanes, 40 hurricane days, four major hurricanes, and nine major hurricane days. There is 72-percent chance that a major hurricane could make landfall along the entire U.S. coastline.

Natural disasters, accidents, and attacks have directly disrupted business operations and shown that an organization’s resilience to a disaster and ability to resume business is directly related to its preparedness to respond to unforeseen events.

The Disaster Recovery Conference will help credit unions prepare a definitive response plan to remain viable, especially in today’s rough economic climate.

May 16, 2013 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Sponsored by:

May 23, 2013 – Mobile, AL
Sponsored by:

The registration fee is $199 per person.

Click on the links above or visit the LSCU Events Calendar on www.lscu.coop. [ Return to Top ]

Cooperative Initiatives News
NCUF opens 2014 Wegner Award nominations

Winners will be honored at NCUF’s annual awards dinner on February 24, 2014 in conjunction with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C.

Click here for more information about the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards. Want to nominate an individual or organization? Nominations need to be made by Friday, June 28, 2013. Click here to begin the process. [ Return to Top ]

Still time to register for new Credit Union Certified Financial Counselor training, informational webinar materials available online

The deadline for the 2013 class registration is April 29. Click here to view more information about the program and a program schedule. LSCU will order all the materials and distribute them to participants.

Click here for the informational webinar materials.

Credit unions interested in having staff trained to become financial counselors should contact LSCU Director of Member Relations Adena Whitman at 866.231.0545 ext. 2134. [ Return to Top ]

Communications News
First quarter issue of Signal Magazine now online
The third quarter issue of LSCU's Signal Magazine is now available online. Visit www.lscu.coop and click on the Publications section under the Communications tab to view the newest issue.

This issue includes articles such as:

  • Will Bluebird Fly Away with Your Business?

  • Is a Mobile App Right for Your CU?

  • The Road Ahead: The Affordable Healthcare Act’s Impact on CU

  • The Community Investment Fund (CIF) Gains Momentum

Click here to view trend articles, news, advocacy and regulatory information, and issues important to Alabama and Florida credit unions. [ Return to Top ]

LEVERAGE News
CUNA Mutual Group offers credit union protection webinars

CUNA Mutual Group’s spring credit union protection webinars deal with employees and how credit unions can help keep them healthy and safe while minimizing exposure to costly losses for workers’ compensation and employment practices liability.

April 17 webinar: “The Aging Workplace & Worker Safety.” Presenters will discuss the realities of the aging workforce, its impact on safety, and practical ideas to help reduce disabling workplace injuries.

May 15 webinar: “Employment Practices.” This session will explore the latest workplace issues and actionable steps to help reduce a credit union’s employment practices liability claims exposure.

Registration is now open for these sessions, available exclusively to CUNA Mutual Group’s Fidelity Bond policyholders. All webinars are one hour long and begin at 10 a.m. CDT.

To register, go to the credit union protection resource center: www.cunamutual.com/cuprotectionwebinars.

To view all webinars offered by CUNA Mutual Group visit, www.cunamutual.com/education. [ Return to Top ]

News from You
Innovations FCU opens new Back Beach branch


Innovations FCU opened a new Back Beach branch, located at 17900 Panama City Beach Parkway in the Palm Plaza.

David Southall, president/CEO commented, “We are very excited about providing this branch as a convenience to our many existing and potential members that live on the west end of Panama City Beach.”

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Alabama Telco CU supports financial literacy for youth month

Alabama Telco Credit Union supports financial literacy for youth month through their youth savings programs, Kids Savings School (ages 12 and under) and Edge Teen Savings (ages 13-19). Each program offers benefits, fun perks, and interactive tools to teach the value of saving and managing money.

“Struggling for economic prosperity is difficult for everyone. It’s especially hard for young people who’ve never learned how to plan to achieve financial security. You can’t rely on someone else to get your child on the right financial path. We want to help educate our children now. The earlier in life you learn how to save, the better off you will be financially,” states Stanton Davis, Alabama Telco’s Vice President of Marketing.

To learn more about the Jump$tart Coalition, visit www.jumpstart.org. To learn more about Alabama Telco’s youth programs, visit www.alatelco.org. [ Return to Top ]

EMPLOYMENT
View available credit union jobs

To view available jobs posted by credit unions on the LSCU website, visit the LSCU CU Jobs Center. Click the link at the top of the CU Jobs Center page to view jobs at the LSCU. [ Return to Top ]

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