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Heartland Credit Union Association holds lobby day

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The newly-renamed Heartland Credit Union Association (formerly the Missouri Credit Union Association) held its annual lobby day Tuesday at the Capitol.

Senior Vice President of Advocacy Amy McLard said the event provided an important service for credit union members to advocate for the legislation they are pushing this session. Among those bills include a bill creating a DOR Technology Fund, a credit union account verification parity bill, the Missouri Savings Promotion Act, and new transportation network company (TNC) notification requirements.

“Our advocacy meeting is really focused on our credit unions, developing those relationships with lawmakers, making sure we’re talking about the key issues that credit unions are focused on,” she said. “This year we do have some key priorities. We have some account verification legislation as well as some savings promotions programs.”

Those savings promotion programs, McLard argues, have been effective in the 16 other states where they have been enacted. The programs encourage people to save money by offering prize drawings for deposits into savings accounts that are safe and risk-free, according to McLard.

The group is working on those issues with members of the General Assembly, including Sen. Mike Cunningham, Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, Rep. Elijah Haahr, Rep. Travis Fitzwater, Rep. Tony Dugger and others, from both sides of the aisle supporting them in different endeavors. The lobby day gives credit union members a chance to build relationships with those legislators.

“We make sure they have a chance to interact with lawmakers on a more casual basis and then meet with them and talk with them and then come up here to the Capitol the next day and talk more nuts and bolts and let the lawmakers know there are people back home they can use as resources in their communities regarding these issues,” McLard said.

The event is also more informational, providing seminars and information sessions to give leaders of credit unions a better grasp on the legislation that affects them.

“It’s considered a meeting,” McLard said. “[Attendees] come up the night before, we provide for them some information, we have speakers that come and talk, we have federal focus as well as our state focus… We give them a broad perspective of what’s happening in the credit union world, what can they do as advocates when they come to Jefferson City, when they come to Washington D.C.”