Legislative Update with Jay Kruse
by Jay Kruse
Chief Advocacy Officer

Good Morning!

The South Dakota legislative session begins its second week today as President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated and sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. Former U.S. Senator and attorney general from the state of California, Kamala Harris will also be sworn in as the first female vice president. The ceremonies will take place at approximately 11:00 a.m. CT, outdoors, in the presence of around 25,000 troops hailing from all 50 states in a massive security effort. Tune in to any of the major networks to watch the inauguration live.

SD Legislative Session Update

We continue to prioritize issues important to credit unions in Pierre as bills are being introduced. As of this morning, there have been 67 bills introduced in the House and 80 in the Senate. This will be the first week that committees begin the consideration of bills.

One bill in committee that we are keeping an eye on is HB 1015, which would grant authority to the Department of Labor to create an “appraiser experience training program” under which licensees may obtain requisite experience hours. The bill would also allow the department to set fees for participation in the program. This department sponsored bill is scheduled for hearing on January 25, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. (CT) in the House Commerce and Energy Committee. We generally support efforts to increase the availability of appraisers across the rural Dakotas as credit unions in some areas of South Dakota have experienced issues finding appraisers in the past. However, I look forward to hearing the testimony on this bill next Monday to learn more before the SD GAC takes an official position on this legislation.

There are no other bills of special importance to credit unions scheduled for hearing this week at this time, but we will continue to monitor bills as they are introduced ahead of the February 4 – 5 bill filing deadlines.

Watch for Action Alerts

Action Alerts are an important advocacy tool we use to harness the grassroots power of our local credit union professionals and advocates across the Dakotas. Typically, when we issue an Action Alert, we are asking you to reach out to your local legislator or elected officials in support of credit unions or to express support or opposition to key legislation affecting the industry. But don’t worry, we have automated the process and it’s easier than ever to take part. When we issue an Action Alert it is delivered directly to your email inbox as well as posted on our website at www.dakcu.org/grassroots-action.

Taking action only requires a very few minutes of your time and a couple of mouse clicks or finger taps to support the credit union industry and our state legislative advocacy efforts. Your participation and support are crucial to advancing credit union issues and helping to amplify the voice of credit unions in both North and South Dakota!

Please stay on the lookout for upcoming Action Alerts in both North and South Dakota, and voice your support of credit unions! It does make a difference.

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.


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