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State Capitol Report - MCUA Testifies in Support of Anti-Patent Troll Bill

Missouri Credit Union Association Testifies in Support of Anti-Patent Troll Bill

The Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) testified in support of a Missouri House bill that would limit patent troll abuse.  David Kent, director of state legislative affairs, provided credit union input on the issue during the January 29 House Financial Institutions Committee hearing on  HB 1374 .  The bill is sponsored by Representative Stan Cox (R-District 52) (pictured).

This bill sets clear criteria to help judges distinguish legitimate from illegitimate patent assertions, and gives businesses affected by patent trolling the option to seek restitution through the circuit court.  Bad faith assertions of patent infringement have become a major issue for Missouri's businesses, including credit unions. In advance of the hearing, MCUA met with members of the committee to discuss the issue and answer any questions.

"We know of specific instances where our member credit unions have been directly affected by patent trolls," says Amy McLard, senior vice president of advocacy. "It's important we explain to lawmakers the severity of the issue, and that the costs associated with patent trolling affect both the credit union and the consumers that the credit union serves."

SB 706 was introduced in the Missouri Senate by Senator Mike Cunningham (R-District 33)  and addresses the same issue.

If your credit union has received a demand letter alleging patent infringement and demanding payment please contact Amy McLard or David Kent.

MCUA Hosts Event for Three Representatives

Representatives Paul Fitzwater (R-District 144), Lyndall Fraker (R-District 137), and Craig Redmon (R-District 4) held a fundraiser at Missouri Credit Union Association’s Jefferson City office on January 29. Approximately 50 friends and supporters attended the event throughout the evening, including Chair of the House Financial Institutions Committee Tony Dugger (R-141) and House Majority Floor Leader John Diehl (R-District 89).

(Pictured from left to right, Fitzwater, Redmon and Fraker)

For the full story please click here.

MCUA’s Jefferson City office will also host the following events in the weeks to follow:

  • Representative Gina Mitten (D-District 83) on Wednesday, February 5 from 5:30 p.m.  Representative Mitten is a member of the House Financial Institutions Committee.
  • Representatives Kathie Conway (R-104), Diane Franklin (R-District 123), Marsha Haefner (R-95) and Sheila Solon (R-31) on Wednesday, February 12 from 6 p.m.

If you would like to attend either of these events please contact Amy McLard or David Kent.

Key Committee Updates

The Senate Financial Institutions Committee will hear SB 694 on February 3.  The bill is sponsored by Senator Mike Cunningham (R-Marshfield).  The bill modifies the laws relating to payday loans, including increasing the annual licensing fee and sets conditions for borrowers to pay outstanding loans by means of an extended payment plan, among other things.

Bills You Want to Know About

Click here for an overview of the bills with potential impact to credit unions.  MCUA will provide this information each week.  It will be updated regularly as more bills are introduced and tracked.

Financial “Tip of the Week” – Consumer Awareness is the Best Prevention Against Phishing Attacks

During the 2014 legislative session, MCUAis providing lawmakers with a financial “Tip of the Week” to share with their constituents.  On January 30, MCUA provided tips to help prevent consumers from falling victim to phishing attacks.  Read the full tip here.

If you have any specific examples to share with legislators on this topic, please contact Amy McLard or David Kent and we will be happy to help you get that information in to the hands of the right lawmakers.  MCUA Advocacy also welcomes suggestions for timely financial education/news topics with a consumer focus to share with lawmakers.

Events Calendar

  • 2-4 – Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) Reception – Jefferson City Country Club – 6-7 p.m.
  • 2-4 – Rep. Brandon Ellington (D-Kansas City) Reception – J Pfenny’s (Jefferson City) – 6 p.m.
  • 2-5 - Rep. Gina Mitten (D-St. Louis) Reception – MCUA Office – Jefferson City – 5:30 p.m.*
  • 2-12 - Reps.Kathie Conway (R-St. Charles), Diane Franklin (R-Camdenton), Marsha Haefner (R-St. Louis) and Sheila Solon (R-Blue Springs) Reception - MCUA Office - Jefferson City - 6 p.m.*
  • 2-19 – Central Chapter of Credit Unions Reception – Cork – Jefferson City – 6 p.m.  Click here to RSVP.*
  • 3-10/11 – MCUA Advocacy Meeting – Jefferson City – Click here to register.*
  • 3-26 – MCUA-hosted House Financial Institutions Committee Dinner – Madisons Café – Jefferson City – 6:00 p.m.*

For more information, please contact Amy McLard or David Kent.  *Indicates event being hosted by MCUA/chapter or in MCUA offices.