Four bills supported by credit unions in Missouri are moving forward in the legislative process after a busy week in the Missouri General Assembly.
The Senate version of the Missouri Savings Promotion Act (SB 833) will move on to the full Senate after being voted unanimously out of the Senate Financial/Government Organizations & Elections Committee on February 1. The House version, HB 2125, was heard in the House Banking Committee - also on February 1 - and a committee vote is expected February 8. Both bills authorize credit unions and other financial institutions in Missouri to offer savings promotions accounts. SB 833 is sponsored by Sen. Jamilah Nasheed (D-District 5), and HB 2125 is sponsored by Rep. Travis Fitzwater (R-District 49).
The credit union account verification parity bills are also moving forward. HB 1721, sponsored by Rep. Tony Dugger (R-District 141), and SB 932, sponsored by Sen. Mike Cunningham (R-District 33), were heard in their respective committee February 1. The legislation adopts the federal guidelines for credit union account verification requirements so all credit unions in Missouri fall under the same verification guidelines. Both bills are scheduled for a committee vote February 8.
HCUA Advocacy staff was on hand to testify in support of all four bills.
Photo: David Kent (right) joins Missouri State Rep. Fitzwater in committee to testify in support of HB 1721 which authorizes credit unions to offer savings promotion programs.
HCUA Closely Watching FIND Act
HCUA Advocacy is closely monitoring the Firearms Industry Nondiscrimination Act (FIND Act). The bill (HB 2426) was recently introduced in the Missouri House and would create a private cause of action against any credit union or financial institution that "discriminates" against a firearm and ammunition business by refusing service or discontinuing service. Missouri is one of three states where this bill is introduced. It is in response to the federal Operation Choke Point initiative that discourages financial institutions from offering services to businesses deemed "high risk" or a "reputation risk."
The bill has not been assigned to a committee, but HCUA Advocacy will continue to monitor closely for developments.
'DOR Technology Fund' Bills Intend to Make E-Titles a Reality
Two bills intended to enable the Department of Revenue (DOR) to implement an electronic lien and title (ELT) system were heard in their respective committees February 1 and February 3. HB 2216 and SB 898 create the DOR Technology Fund and will allow DOR to modernize its decades old computer system and usher in ELT technology, among a number of other technology upgrades.
The Missouri DOR Technology Fund will be funded with an $8.50 administrative fee for each notice of lien on motor vehicles. This is in addition to the current $2.50 fee already charged when filing a lien. The administrative fee sunsets December 31, 2026.
Rep. Sandy Crawford (R-District 129) is the House sponsor, and Sen. Mike Cunningham (R-District 33) is the Senate sponsor.
Robbery Bill Heads to Senate
The Missouri House voted 136-21 in favor of a bill intended to clarify stealing from a financial institution - including credit unions - is a Class B felony offense. HB 1594, sponsored by Rep. Sandy Crawford (R-District 129), now heads to the Senate.
The bill was generated following two Missouri Supreme Court cases where defendants argued that since they simply asked the teller for money and did not use physical force, the crime should be considered stealing rather than robbery. Stealing is a Class C felony offense and carries a lighter sentence than robbery. While the court ruled against the defendant in both cases, HB 1594 is intended to prevent similar arguments in the future.
The companion bill, SB 790 sponsored by Sen. Mike Parson (R-District 28), was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 2.
Missouri Legislative Bill Tracker - Week of February 8, 2016
Click here for a list of all the bills HCUA Advocacy is tracking. As more bills are introduced and reviewed this session, HCUA will add any legislation affecting credit unions.
Missouri Advocacy Meeting - March 7-8
You're invited to the Missouri Advocacy Meeting on March 7-8 in Jefferson City! You'll join credit union advocates from across the state in learning about state and federal legislative issues affecting credit unions and consumers. You'll also have the opportunity to meet with state legislators to discuss credit union issues and the credit union difference.