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Starting with our "Welcome aBoard" post, our weekly blog addresses issues and topics of interest for Montana credit union board members. 

Donya Parrish (standing at the podium) testifies before the House Business & Labor Committee during the 2015 Legislative Session. Seated front and center are Pat Murdo (Legislative Services), Committee Chair Tom Berry (R-Roundup), and Committee Vice-Chair Dan Salomon (R-Ronan).

In the Rearview Mirror

by Donya Parrish

They say hindsight is 20/20, and that could not be more true than looking back at the Montana Legislative session. While the session officially ended on April 28, it was not until early last week that we knew the Governor’s decision on a few late bills. Overall, it was a very successful session for Montana’s financial cooperatives. We had strong support and secured the passage of two specific credit union bills -- one from the Division of Banking and one from our state chartered credit union committee. Both will help keep state chartered credit unions a viable option in our state.
 
Sometimes when a bill is introduced, or the first hearing is held, it is difficult to tell how much support, opposition, or amending it will go through. Decisions have to be made about what the anticipated impact to credit unions might be and whether any of it is palatable. I feel confident that we were involved in all the bills we needed to be, but wish I had used my crystal ball a bit more on one or two. There are some bills that I may have pushed for a little harder if I had known their outcome, but there is next session to revisit topics and work toward the best outcome possible for you.
 
My goal in looking at any bill is to see if it gives credit unions efficiency or poses any expense, lack of notice (for lien holders), or risk. It is interesting to be in a hearing for a consumer protection issue only to turn around and have a conversation on ag liens or human resource issues, but these all can impact credit unions. With over 1,200 employees across the state and Montana's diverse geography, there are bound to be a few wondering just how many topics we are involved with. It is my true hope to always represent you as consumer-focused institutions who work to improve your community members’ financial lives -- a goal that doesn’t come through your own profits, but through your relationships with members, and your dedication to improving the towns you also live in.
 
In the session summary you’ll see a recap of the bills that affected credit unions, or would have impacted credit unions if passed. Work is already starting on the 2017 session, so I would love to hear your feedback on these topics, as well as recommendations you have on credit union friendly candidates we can support. After all, it doesn’t matter what side of the aisle they sit on, as long as they are willing to listen and recognize the difference in a credit union.

Donya Parrish is the VP-Dues Supported Services for the Montana Credit Union Network. She would welcome any questions or comments on this material. You can email Donya or call her at 406.324.7374.

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Below, you'll find links to past blog posts organized (loosely) into four categories. They are fairly short and provide food for thought in the areas of directors' duties and responsibilities, advocacy, working with the CEO, and ideas for strategic planning. 

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