Craig-Ford-LOYAt the heart of the Alabama State GAC is building relationships with lawmakers. That was on display on the first day in Montgomery. The League honored Rep. Craig Ford (D-Gadsden) with the state Lawmaker of the Year award. Banking and Insurance Committee Chairman Sen. Slade Blackwell (R-Montevallo) and Sen. Shay Shelnutt (R-Trussville) held a lively town hall style session on the State Legislative Outlook. The evening ended with the Lawmaker Reception where credit unions mingled with their lawmakers.

Sens. Blackwell and Shelnutt brought a sheet of paper with them that had many of the state’s pressing issues on it. They held a debate on both sides of some of those issues while also asking the credit unions what they thought. It was a fun way to get the credit unions involved in the state’s issues and gave them more background on how many are complex. At the end of the session, they took up the papers with the attendees thoughts on them.

Rep. Ford was named the Lawmaker of the Year for his unwavering support of credit unions. He co-sponsored the update to the State Credit Union Act and also supports credit unions being able to accept public deposits. He told attendees that he will always support credit unions for what they do for their local communities. He said he appreciates that credit unions are local, hire locally, and always know the names of their members.

Alabama Credit Union Administration Administrator Sarah Moore gave a regulatory update on the issues state examiners were looking at most during exams. Those included looking at the credit quality of loans. She also said that the update to the State Credit Union Act was necessary in many areas including investments. She said the language was outdated and needed to be modernized to reflect how credit unions invest today. Moore stayed after the session for 30 minutes to answer individual questions.

The Alabama State GAC concludes today with Secretary of State John Merrill giving an overview of campaigns and elections. Nathan Lindsay from the Business Council of Alabama will talk about Political Action and Grassroots advocacy.

You can follow the State GAC on the League’s Facebook page and the League’s Twtter feed. Search #ALSTATEGAC. Credit unions should also download the League’s mobile app to enhance their conference experience, as well as stay connected to the League throughout the year. Search “LSCU” in your mobile device’s app store.