Two bills affecting credit unions passed the Missouri House of Representatives this week and are now headed to the Missouri Senate. The House perfected and third read HB 1374, the patent trolling billing bill, and HB 1217, the condo assessments lien bill. HB 1374 passed by a vote of 142-3 and was sponsored by Rep. Stan Cox (R-District 51). HB 1217, sponsored by Rep. Tony Dugger (R-District 141), passed 142-0. MCUA Advocacy worked in support of both bills.
HB 1374 and HB 1217 still face a lengthy process in the Missouri Senate before officially becoming law.
For additional information on these bills and other legislation affecting credit unions, click here for the 2014 state legislation briefing.
Photo: L to R, Rep. Stan Cox; Rep. Tony Dugger
Missouri General Assembly Update - Office Filings Close, Budget and Tax Bills Advance, Lawmaker Calls for Ethics Reforms
March 25 marked the close of filing for state races - including state auditor, state senator and state representative, as well as U.S. representatives for Missouri. This was a big topic of discussion at the State Capitol and is often referred to as a day for either “tears or cheers” as elected office holders see if they will have contested races.
The only statewide race in 2014 is for State Auditor. Current Auditor Tom Schweich (R) will not face a Democratic challenger, the first time in many years there won't be a contested race for a state office in Missouri. Forty-three Republican House members are unopposed for re-election while only 15 Democrats are unopposed. In the Senate, seven Republicans and one Democrat are running unopposed.
The House perfected and third read the budget bills. The budget bills now move to the Senate where they will begin their mark-up. The budget must be passed by May 9.
The Senate took up and perfected its major tax bill. The bill (SS for SCS for SB 509 and SB 496) makes numerous changes to tax brackets and could result in a tax reduction of $450,000,000-500,000,000. The tax cuts would not take effect for three years and could only go into effect once there was an increase in state revenue of more than $150,000,000.
Governor Jay Nixon (D) negotiated with Senator Will Kraus (R-District 8) on an acceptable tax bill. To gain the Governor's support, Nixon stressed the need for a provision stating the tax reductions would not kick in unless the school foundation formula was fully funded. This provision was not a part of the bill approved by the Senate.
A link to the perfected bill is below. http://www.senate.mo.gov/14info/pdf-bill/perf/SB509.pdf
Another topic causing waves in the state capitol was an opinion piece written by Representative John Wright (D-District 47), calling for ethics reforms. It was published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch titled "Our Million-dollar Legislature." Rep. Wright chides the influence some lobbyists have over lawmakers in Jefferson City and calls for a comprehensive new ethics law that places strict limitations on lobbyist gifts. Click here to read the full article.
MCUA Hosts Two Fundraisers in Jefferson City
The Missouri Credit Union Association’s Jefferson City office welcomed three legislators for two different receptions this week. Representative John Carpenter (D-District 15) hosted a function Monday evening and Representatives Kurt Bahr (R-District 102) and Rick Brattin (R-District 55) held a reception Tuesday. This was the ninth and tenth event held at Credit Union House in Jefferson City since the start of session January 8. MCUA Advocacy has made it a priority to host more legislative functions this year to help promote credit unions and to share the credit union difference with lawmakers. For the full story, please click here.
Financial “Tip of the Week” – Pay for College Without Accumulating Large Amounts of Debt
During the 2014 legislative session, MCUA provides lawmakers with a financial “Tip of the Week” to share with constituents. This week MCUA provided tips to help students pay for college without accumulating large amounts of student loan debt. Credit unions are welcome to share these tips with members. 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.