Former New York Gov. George Pataki addresses 2019 State GAC attendees


Former New York Gov. George Pataki addressed credit union advocates yesterday at the 2019 State Governmental Affairs Conference.

Following the opening remarks, Pataki took the podium to thank credit unions for their longtime commitment to community service. He focused on the current state of New York and federal politics, and discussed the lack of bipartisanship between the two parties in the Legislature and Congress.

Pataki’s overall message to attendees was that while there is a huge gap between themselves and political leaders in Washington, D.C., there is light at the end of the tunnel: “This is a great country and we have to keep looking to solve problems,” said Pataki. “And if we do, and stop the partisan attacking back and forth, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish.”

Pataki praised credit unions for working to strengthen local economies and for serving as facilitators of economic advancement.

The former governor also noted that credit unions are financially sound: “Credit unions are the ones who loan locally, who loan to small businesses, and are a critical part of keeping this economy going,” he said.

He also advised credit union advocates in attendance to remain vigilant in their advocacy efforts. “Keep fighting the fight. It’s a good cause with a great group of people behind a product that the people of New York state need.”

Attendees then heard a session on marijuana banking by New York Credit Union Association SVP/General Counsel Henry Meier. The presentation focused on the differences between the state and federal regulations. Meier also discussed the legalities and issues that financial institutions may come across when dealing with pot banking.

Kendra Rubin, VP of governmental affairs at the Association, then took the podium to provide a legislative briefing. The session helped prepare attendees for meetings with lawmakers the following day. Rubin briefly touched on the Association’s 2019 state-level legislative priorities, which includes four pro-credit union items—including municipal and state deposits, Banking Development Districts and the Excelsior Linked Deposit Program—that attendees should ask for support on during their legislative visits today.

Following the educational component of the conference, attendees then had the opportunity to mingle with lawmakers at the legislative reception.

Today, the advocates will take their message to the state Capitol for a full day of legislative meetings and lobbying.

Pictures from the event will be posted on the Association’s Facebook page.

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