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Texas House Votes Overwhelmingly to Protect Credit Unions from Moving Up Sunset Date
Monday, May 4, 2015 7:00 AM

Thanks to a tremendous grassroots response by Texas credit unions to the Texas House Thursday, the amendment moving the Texas Credit Union Department (TCUD) sunset date to 2017 was overwhelmingly defeated 135-1.

On Friday, Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van) offered a third reading amendment, which requires 100 votes to pass, that returned the Sunset date of the TCUD to 2021. The amendment was accepted by the author, Rep. “Four” Price (R-Amarillo), eliminating the requirement to get the 100 votes.

Thursday afternoon Rep. Larry Gonzales had offered a surprise amendment to move the TCUD sunset date up to next session, 2017. He had prefiled an amendment to move the Finance commission agencies up to sunset in 2017. Rep. Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth) and Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van) questioned the need to move the TCUD sunset date to 2017 and Rep. Flynn pointed out that the cost to credit unions for doing so is estimated to be $100,000. Texas Credit Union Association lobbyists reported hearing from Legislators offices about the calls received from concerned credit union members about the amendment to move the agency sunset date forward.

Cornerstone Credit Union League President Dick Ensweiler said “I was proud of the response by our credit unions and League staff to this important attack on short notice, and to the work of Cornerstone League Advocacy staff in organizing the alert. The ability of our credit unions to follow up the next day with a strong grassroots effort shows the commitment of credit union people.”

The TCUD just went through Sunset in 2009. Rep. Gonzales stated he wanted to move all financial regulators up to 2017 to look at the SDSI status of the agencies. After the amendment to the amendment was defeated, the House adopted the amendment to move the Finance commission sunset date to 2017. In an interesting move, the House later reconsidered the vote. That amendment was then withdrawn from the bill, leaving the Finance Commission agencies with a 2019 sunset date.

Jeff Huffman, President of the Texas Credit Union Association said “We really appreciate the support of the Texas House for maintaining a strong credit union system and pushing back on unnecessary regulation.”

HB 3123 now goes to the Senate for consideration. The Texas Credit Union Association will continue to work the bill in the Senate, as the companion Senate bill, SB 218, would move the TCUD sunset date to 2019.