The state Senate Banks Committee on Wednesday passed an important bill that would grant credit unions access to the state Banking Development District Program. The legislation was introduced and sponsored by Sen. Velmanette Montgomery, D-Metropolitan, and is heading to the Senate floor for a vote.
Passage of the legislation, S.727, includes credit unions within the definition of a bank, trust company or national bank for the purpose of a Banking Development District Program. The New York Credit Union Association strongly supports the legislation and has discussed the bill with lawmakers in recent days. Including credit unions in the Banking Development District Program would be a key victory for New York’s credit unions, which the Association believes are already well-positioned to serve the needs of the state’s underserved communities.
The BDD Program was created in 1997 to encourage financial institutions to establish branches in economically distressed communities throughout New York where there is a demonstrated need for banking services. Banks and trust companies have continually declined to participate in the program, yet credit unions remain unable to participate.
“The new Senate majority is really hitting the ground running by taking a fresh look at some old issues,” said William J. Mellin, president/CEO of the Association. “The fact that the BDD legislation was one of the first bills advanced out of the Banks Committee is a great sign that key credit union issues are getting serious consideration. I thank Sen. Montgomery and Chairman James Sanders Jr. for their efforts in advancing this important bill.”
The Association will continue to work closely with lawmakers in the Legislature and advocate for the bill’s passage.