May 2018
Legislative Win for Credit Unions: 
Payday Loan Expansion Bill Rejected by Louisiana House Committee

Efforts to establish new payday lending option failed in a House committee last Wednesday as legislators disagreed on the best way to serve consumers while protecting them from crippling debt and predatory lending.
Back in March, LCUL was notified of Senate Bill 365, which sought to establish a new payday loan product offering loans between $500 and $875 with three to 12-month terms. The state's current payday loan system allows lenders to offer a maximum of $350 for up to 30 days.  

In addition to creating a new loan option, SB365 would create a state database tracking consumers' short-term loans, allow consumers to take out only one short-term loan at a time, cap loan payments at 20 percent of gross monthly income and have a maximum annual percentage rate, or APR, of 167 percent.
Representative Edmond Jordan, D-Baton Rouge and board member of Essential CU, questioned the ambivalence of the proposal, noting that offering a high interest loan that's less predatory than the payday loans on the market doesn't make the proposal less detrimental to borrowers. "You can put a knife nine inches in my back and pull it out six and you can't call that progress. I've still got a knife in my back," Jordan said.
Ronaldo Hardy, CEO of Southeast Louisiana CU, along with Rick Williams, CEO of Essential CU, testified before the committee on behalf of the Louisiana credit union system, saying credit unions offer lower interest rates for comparable loan amounts and terms, with the added benefit of financial literacy services.
"I applaud Rep. Jordan, Ronaldo, and Rick for representing the credit union system, stressing the importance of our structure, and educating legislators on the products and services offered to consumers.  Their testimonies were powerful and eye opening, particularly for those who don't understand what makes us different. It's important that we capitalize on these opportunities to increase awareness and advocacy efforts," commented Bob Gallman, LCUL President/CEO.
Prior to the May 9 testimonies, LCUL and Adams & Reese filed a note of opposition on behalf of Louisiana credit unions. 
Click here to view testimonies.  (credit unions are introduced at the 1 hour, 45 min mark)
CULAC, Legislative Committee Updates

Both the CULAC and Legislative Committees held meetings last month in conjunction with LCUL's  Governmental  Affairs Conference in Baton Rouge. Below are summaries that discuss LCUL's recent advocacy efforts as well as industry updates. 

Special thanks to the following committee members for volunteering to serve in such an important capacity:
CULAC Committee Members
Sidney Parfait, Chairman
Tina Atkins    
Lawoka Bolden
Chris Chelette
Gary Crockett
Danielle Guidry
Sonya Jarvis
Adrina Johnson
Michelle Jinks
Lacie Lingo    
Lisa Lewis 

Legislative Committee Members

Ken Gardner, Jr.,  Chairman                            
Joe Battaglia 
Brian Burton     
Lloyd Clark         
Chris Craighead                
Janet McDaniel
Al Oar                   
Ronnie  Stephens            
Kenneth Villemarette                   
Diane Ward   
Pictures from CUNA, LCUL GAC Events

Visit the League's website  to view pictures from both the national and state Governmental Affairs Conference. Please f eel free to use these photos for your own communication channels.

Attendees once again did a tremendous job of communicating the credit union difference. 
As always, thank you to all of the Louisiana advocates who made sure our voices were heard in both Washington and Baton Rouge.