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Missouri Governor Signs Savings Promotion Act, Bills to Take Effect in KS & MO

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) signed HB 2125, which includes the Missouri Savings Promotion Act, on June 13. The bill will become law in Missouri on August 28. The bill was approved by both the Missouri Senate and Missouri House of Representatives in May.

The Heartland Credit Union Association, along with CommunityAmerica Credit Union, Mazuma Credit Union , Neighbors Credit Union and United Credit Union, sent letters to the governor in support of the legislation following its passage.

“This was a great team victory for credit unions in Missouri. Thank you to the credit unions who wrote to Governor Nixon in support and helped usher in a positive savings tool for credit unions in our state,” says David Kent, HCUA director of state legislative affairs for Missouri. “HCUA also thanks the bill sponsors and handlers, as well as Governor Nixon for signing it into law.”

The Missouri governor’s action means credit unions in both Missouri and Kansas will be able to offer savings promotion programs, also known as prize-linked savings (PLS) programs, to their members.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) signed SB 390, the Kansas Savings Promotions Act legislation, in May. The bill goes into effect in Kansas on July 1. Kansas U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R) sponsored the federal legislation passed in 2014 that broadened accessibility to PLS programs.

These programs provide incentives for people to help save, by holding drawings for members that deposit funds into these accounts. Even if a member does not receive the cash prize, no money is lost and the member wins by building up funds in their savings account.

“Credit unions are focused on helping people save, and this will provide more opportunities for consumers to save in both Kansas and Missouri,” says Brad Douglas, president/CEO of the Heartland Credit Union Association. “These programs have been a valuable tool for credit unions across the country, and we look forward to working with our credit unions to help members get in the habit of saving money and building a financial safety net.”

Missouri U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, who is the Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, is expected to highlight PLS accounts during a June 15 hearing titled “Closing the Gap: Innovations to Promote Americans’ Financial Security.” Kansas and Missouri credit unions will be on hand in Washington, D.C. for the HCUA Hike the Hill.

Kansas and Missouri join more than a dozen states that authorize financial institutions to offer these types of programs. Other states that are authorized include Louisiana, New Jersey, Michigan, Rhode Island, Maine, Washington, North Carolina, Nebraska, Maryland, Connecticut, Indiana, New York, Arkansas, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon, South Carolina and Virginia.

Savings Promotion Program Working Group

HCUA will have working groups for credit unions in Kansas and Missouri to go over potential programs and steps moving forward for implementation of the savings promotion programs. If you are interested in participating, send an email with your name, credit union, and contact information to advocacy@heartlandcua.org.