Bar takes legislative positions

first_img Bar takes legislative positions Dealing with constitutional amendments and lawyers for juveniles The Florida Bar Board of Governors has adopted two new legislative positions involving constitutional amendments and lawyers for juveniles, as the legislature worked on bills in both areas.Acting at its April 8 meeting in Tallahassee, the board followed the recommendation of the Legislation Committee and approved the recommendations of the Special Committee on Constitutional Amendments and the Legal Needs of Children Committee in adopting the new positions. (An official notice on both new lobbying stances is in this News. )At its January meeting, the board had tabled the proposal from the Special Committee on Constitutional Amendments. That panel advocated that the Bar adopt a position saying all constitutional amendments fit three criteria: They affect an existing provision of the constitution; they deal with a basic right of citizens; or they address the basic structure of government.Special committee Chair Harold Melville reported that the concern raised in January, that such an amendment might preclude the a future amendment on judicial nominating commissions, was unfounded. He noted that JNCs are already mentioned in the constitution, hence any further amendment would pass the “filter” test.The special committee also modified the recommendation to apply only to initiative amendments, and the board approved the new position.The legislature is considering a variety of issues on constitutional amendments, including requiring them to pass with 60 percent of the vote, requiring that they pass with 60 percent of the vote in 60 percent of the congressional districts, limiting the subject to basic issues, and tightening requirements for initiative petition signature gatherers.The second action came as a suggestion from the Legal Needs of Children Committee that the board adopt the committee’s position holding that children in the delinquency system should not be able to waive their right to an attorney unless they had a meaningful opportunity to consult with a lawyer on the waiver.The board approved the position unanimously. A bill to accomplish it has been introduced in the legislature. SB 1218, which provides that a child in the delinquency system must consult with a public defender if that child is not represented by a private attorney, cleared the Senate Criminal Justice Committee unanimously in April 1. The bill also specifically provides that a child may not waive the right to counsel until he or she has had a meaningful opportunity to consult with a lawyer. Bar takes legislative positions May 1, 2005 Regular Newslast_img read more

How credit unions could help the helpers

first_imgWhat with all this… let’s just call it “stuff” going on in the world right now, credit unions all over are leading the response in a lot of innovative ways.Much of what we’ve seen so far are CUs offering flexibility to their affected members: automated or free skip a pay, low-interest personal loans, and various other accommodations.However, credit unions are also perfectly positioned to be facilitators; to help members who want to help other members and their communities.We’re all in this together, and “people helping people” is part of every credit union’s DNA.How could credit unions do more to help the helpers?Lots of people can help and want to helpWhen the stimulus funds started to show up, quite a few people I know said something like “Well, this is nice, but I’m actually OK. Should I do something useful with this?”One of the most common responses was to donate part or all of the funds; to get it to people who need it more. And even if they can’t spare the cash, people want to do something to help others since they suddenly have more time on their hands.It’s a great way to feel a little less powerless. But what to do?The biggest obstacle is knowing where the needs are and where you can make the biggest difference. And of course, it’s important to avoid the endless scams and responses based on false info.CUs can help find those opportunities.Credit unions have a position of immense trust in every community. By finding opportunities, verifying credibility, and organizing volunteers, CUs can make an even bigger impact:Look for those unexpected local pain pointsMaybe there’s a connectivity gap for your rural members, or not enough computers for the kids in some households. Is there a college full of bored CS students who could refurbish and sanitize computers? Can you work with the utilities to help cover internet connections for people who need them? Is there a homeless shelter that needs a boost?Do some research. Put a form or poll on your website and on social media and ask people; what do you need most? How would you most like to help others? What causes are most important to you?Build on what you’re doing alreadyAs one example, some credit unions already have utility assistance programs. Maybe these could be expanded to allow more direct donations from other members in order to keep the lights on for more people who have lost income.Or maybe your financial education program for kids could be expanded into virtual events for kids at home (and their beleaguered parents).Get your members involvedPeople want to help others. It’s empowering. So instead of just writing checks, build an army of helpers. Enlist the power of people. Look for needs you might be able to fill if you can call on members to help.Think big. What could you do if half your members kicked in $10 and saw results right here in their own community? What if 1,000 people kicked in $50 each? 10,000 people?Don’t forget to do some horn-tootingTake pictures (from a safe distance). Collect those stories. Share the results online and on social media and show your members how they’re making a difference.Share with the classIn the comments below, on social media, and in your professional groups, share with your CU colleagues. What’s working? What’s not working? What are you changing? How do the members like it?Credit unions are already doing a lot.You’re starting to hear more and more examples of credit unions stepping up. Of course, every CU’s community, membership, needs, and brand are different.But when you mobilize your members, you can do even more. 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Brian Wringer Former watermelon farmer Brian Wringer wears several hats for iDiz Incorporated, including Web Projects Manager, Wordsmith, and Big Idea Guy. He builds better credit unions by day and weird old … Web: Detailslast_img read more