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Tampa-area credit unions meet with Rep. Janet Cruz (D-Tampa).

At the heart of the Florida Credit Union Association State Governmental Affairs Conference is visiting with lawmakers and building relationships. Credit unions spent four hours at the Capitol on Tuesday making nearly 30 visits. In the evening, attendees spent another two hours mingling with lawmakers, mainly Senators as the House was still in session. These were important meetings that resulted in Sen. Darren Soto (D-Kissimmee) co-sponsoring two credit union bills.

Also during the evening lawmaker reception, Senate President Designate Joe Negron (R-Palm City) being named the 2015 Florida Credit Union Association State Lawmaker of the Year. He told attendees that he appreciated the work that credit unions were doing in their local communities, and that he appreciated the relationship he has had with them over the past 16 years.

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Tallahassee-area credit unions meet with Sen. Bill Montford (D-Tallahassee).

PAC fundraising awards were given out during lunch. Ten credit unions picked up awards, while 16 were honored as honorable mentions. Suncoast Credit Union, based in Tampa, was also honored as the credit union that raised the most PAC dollars in 2015. This was a record-breaking year for LSCU PAC fundraising. This year will also be an important fundraising year with the presidential elections, all of the federal house seats open, one senate seat, and 160 state House and Senate seats up for election this November.

The State GAC continues this morning with a keynote address from Speaker of the House Steve Crisafulli and time with the state and federal regulators. Attendees will also get an election preview from Marian Johnson of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Follow the State GAC on the League’s Facebook page or Twitter feed.