Will County Treasurer Steve Weber testified before the General Assembly’s Counties and Township Committee on March 10, 2011 in support of HB-2101, a bill that will allow counties to deposit funds with Illinois Credit Unions.  The measure passed committee 7-0.  Here is Weber’s prepared testimony.

Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Spokesman Ramey and members of the committee.  My name is Steve Weber, and I am the Will County Treasurer.  I want to thank you for the opportunity to speak in support of HB-2101, which provides explicit authority for counties to deposit funds with state credit unions.

At any given time, the Will County Treasurer’s office has cash deposits of approximately $200 million.  Like many counties, we deposit these funds at financial institutions authorized by the County Code.

When re-writing our investment policy earlier this year, my staff discovered that counties could not deposit funds with credit unions, only banks or savings and loans.  This restriction is in conflict with other areas of state law, specifically the Public Funds Investment Act.

We brought this issue to the attention of the Illinois Credit Union League and the Illinois Treasurer’s Association, and they wrote the framework for HB-2101 introduced by Representative McAsey.

One of my colleagues, Lake County Treasurer Robert Skidmore—who was unable to attend today’s hearing—asked for an amendment to give county treasurer’s the same investment authority as a municipal treasurer under state law.  I support this amendment as well.

As you are aware, counties are searching for safe and secure ways to invest public funds.  By including Credit Unions, county treasurers have more arrows in their quiver.  This bill also enables treasurers to promote local direct investment in their counties as credit unions have a historic mission to serve the local communities as cooperative institutions.

Earlier this week, my county board introduced a resolution of support for this bill.  I appreciate Rep. McAsey and Leader Cross for their support, and want to thank the Credit Union League and Treasurer’s Association for their role in cleaning up this conflict in the law.

I thank you for your time this morning, and ask you to recommend this bill for passage.

You can see the progress of HB-2101 in the General Assembly by clicking here.

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