2019 legislative session begins in Albany


The 2019 state legislative session begins today, and the New York Credit Union Association is fully engaged with lawmakers in Albany.

Most notably, Democrats now have firm control of the state government after flipping the Senate in last year’s elections. The former Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Westchester-Rockland, will now serve as majority leader.

With the new leadership comes the possibility of advancing credit union priorities that have traditionally been blocked in the Senate, such as legislation that would allow credit unions to accept public deposits.

As previously reported, New York’s Senate Democrats have expressed strong interest and support for credit unions in the past and have signaled a desire to help credit unions reach more underserved New Yorkers. Additionally, Stewart-Cousins has remained a supporter of credit unions and has expressed a strong interest in working with the Association to advance municipal deposits legislation.

Sen. James Sanders Jr., D-Metropolitan, will now serve as chairman of the Senate Banks Committee. Sanders, the former ranking member on the committee, is considered a knowledgeable and experienced lawmaker with respect to credit union issues. A longtime credit union champion, Sanders has previously been the prime sponsor of legislation that would authorize credit unions to accept municipal deposits and allow credit unions to participate in the Banking Development District Program.

While the Association remains optimistic about the makeup of the Legislature this session, some pro-credit union legislation—such as increasing penalties for robberies committed via demand note—may be more difficult under the new leadership.

Change will also be coming to the executive branch; Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo announced that she is leaving the agency Feb. 1. Vullo’s strong commitment to the enhancement of the state charter was a hallmark of her time as superintendent. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s chief of staff, Linda Lacewell, has been nominated to replace Vullo. The Association looks forward to working with and building a close relationship with Lacewell in the months ahead.

To learn more about the Association’s 2019 state legislative priorities, view the Association’s 2019 State Legislative Agenda. More information about the Association’s 2019 state legislative priorities will be provided in tomorrow’s edition of The New York Minute.

Both the Assembly and Senate sessions today will be streamed on their respective websites.

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