Another Ho-Hum Day in Albany

January 23, 2015 at 8:21 am Leave a comment

Yesterday was kind of an interesting day in Albany. In case you missed it, and if you live in the New York area the only way that happened is if you were hiding out in a cave, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, one of the longest serving speakers in the history of the Assembly, has been indicted on federal corruption charges. At this point, all we know for sure is that allegations have been made against the Speaker, the Democratic Conference remains publicly committed to him, and that the Speaker can legally remain in his post unless he is convicted.

Once the initial shock dies down and the dust begins to settle, we may very well see the Legislative Session proceed normally. In 1991, then Assembly Speaker Mel Miller was indicted on federal fraud charges involving real estate transactions on behalf of a client he represented in his private law practice. Miller continued to serve as the Speaker, including working with then-Governor Mario Cuomo in an attempt to convince the State Senate Republicans to go along with a 15-month budget. When Miller was convicted, a conviction that was overturned on appeal, he automatically lost his seat, Saul Weprin was chosen as Speaker and when he passed away, Sheldon Silver ascended to the Speakership in 1994.

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The game of musical committee chairmanships that marks the start of every legislative session in Albany has begun. Senator Diane Savino, who was a member of the five-member Independent Democratic Conference, has been named Chairman of the Senate Banks Committee. She replaces Senator Joseph Griffo who is moving to Chair the Senate Energy Committee. Griffo was a key supporter of credit union legislation including sponsoring our field of membership bill (Chapter 502 of the Laws of 2014). Savino has also been supportive of credit union initiatives. We look forward to working with her in her new role.

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Speaking of the credit union field of membership bill, as expected, earlier this week Senator Griffo and Assemblywoman Robinson introduced a chapter amendment to this legislation (S.1808/A.1348). The amendment, which was agreed to as part of negotiations with the Governor to secure the bill’s approval, provides that, when it considers a credit union’s application to enhance its FOM, the Department of Financial Services will “consider the credit union’s record and history of serving underserved areas, as well as low and moderate-income individuals within the communities it currently services, if any, and its commitments to serve underserved areas, as well as low and moderate-income individuals in the communities to be served.” The amendments also clarify that the DFS has the authority to impose geographical and other limitations it considers appropriate.

Entry filed under: New York State, Political, Regulatory. Tags: , .

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Authored By:

Henry Meier, Esq., General Counsel, New York Credit Union Association.

The views Henry expresses are Henry’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Association.

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