At the upcoming CUNA GAC in February, the MCUL will honor the 2013 recipients of the annual Federal Lawmaker of the Year and Federal Staffer of the Year awards. U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, was selected as the MCUL’s 2013 Federal Lawmaker of the Year. Stabenow has been an outspoken supporter of credit unions since her days in the state Legislature, and has emerged as a leader in Washington. She chairs the powerful Senate Committee on Agriculture, in addition to serving as a majority member on the Senate Committee on Finance, which handles all tax reform proposals. Stabenow has been a supporter and co-sponsor on issues important to Michigan credit unions, including bills to expand business lending authority, increase the fairness and transparency of regulatory exams, and additional proposals to provide specific regulatory relief to small institutions. Stabenow was also outspoken on her concerns about the impact of placing a cap on debit interchange fees. Importantly, she was an early and strong champion of the credit union tax exemption during the current debate over tax reform.
Ryan Tarrant, district director for U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland, will be honored as the MCUL’s 2013 Federal Staffer of the Year. Tarrant has worked for Congressman Camp for several years, serving in a variety of roles. He has become a consistent presence and familiar face at the Mid-Michigan Chapter’s legislative breakfasts and events. He also meets regularly with credit union leaders from the district on current issues and routinely and effectively communicates credit union concerns to Rep. Camp.
At the MCUL GAC, to be held this March in Lansing, the MCUL will also celebrate State Rep. Peter Pettalia, R-Presque Isle, as the 2013 State Lawmaker of the Year. Rep. Pettalia has served as a majority member of the House Financial Services Committee since being elected to the State House. He has sponsored pro-credit union amendments and legislation at the request of the MCUL and frequently attends in-district events and meetings with credit union leaders. He was instrumental in the passage of last session’s increase in the small claims court filing threshold, and most recently, has introduced legislation to help protect credit unions and other lenders from unnecessary liability and costs related to lost mortgage documents.
Patrick Tiedt, chief of staff to Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, will also be honored at the state GAC as 2013 State Staffer of the Year. Tiedt brings years of financial industry experience to Lansing, prior to working with Booher. He understands the credit union difference and has become someone the MCUL can rely on to communicate our positions and concerns to the Booher, who is chairman of the Senate Financial Institutions Committee. In particular, Tiedt was instrumental in advancing pro-credit union solutions during the legislative process surrounding state foreclosure process reforms, including repeal of the 90-day pre-foreclosure workout law.