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Capitol Report - With Session Winding Down, Major Bills Move Forward

Legislation affecting credit unions is moving through the Missouri General Assembly in the final two weeks of session.  A bill that allows the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) to implement an electronic lien release (ELR) system passed the Missouri Senate on May 7 and is headed to the governor.  The Missouri Senate voted 32-0 to pass HB 1999.  This follows a 148-2 vote by Missouri House members on April 17.

Rules and regulations are not finalized for the ELR system. The Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) advocacy staff met with the DOR before legislation was introduced, and will continue to work closely with DOR to provide input during the development and implementation process. Once the system is implemented, it will allow lienholders - including credit unions - that file a lien on a vehicle or trailer electronically to release the lien electronically. 

MCUA testified in support of the legislation during both the House and Senate committee hearings.

“We spoke to a number of our credit unions about this,” says David Kent, MCUA director of state legislative affairs.  “The overwhelming majority want the ability to release a lien electronically.  ELR makes the lien process faster, less expensive and more secure – and we conveyed this to committee members and lawmakers when we spoke in support of the legislation.”

HB 1999 is sponsored by Rep. Tony Dugger (R-District 141) and was carried by Senator Mike Cunningham (R-District 33) in the Senate.  Governor Jay Nixon (D) has the option to sign, veto or allow the bill to become law on August 28.

Other Bills of Interest

Just one week of the 2014 legislative session remains - the last day is May 16..  A number of bills are starting to cross the finish line, having been passed and sent to the Governor.  Other bills are still moving.  Once a bill is passed and sent to the Governor, he has the option to sign, veto or allow to become law on August 28.  Here is a brief overview on bills of interest:

Bills Sent to the Governor

  • HB 1218 - protects a credit union’s lien priority over a condominium association's special assessment;
  • HB 1412 - modifies the law relating to the filing of fraudulent financing statements;
  • HB 1999 - allows Director of Revenue to implement an electronic lien release system;
  • SB 694 - payday lending reform bill;​
  • SB 706 - prohibits bad faith assertion of patent infringement (also referred to as the patent troll bill).  Click here for a full story about the bill.

Bills of Interest Still Moving

  • HB 1270​ - requires specified disclosures on new credit card processing service contracts (credit unions exempted);
    • After passing the House 147-6, the Senate added a floor amendment and passed the bill 31-0.  The bill now heads back to the House for final passage.
  • HB 1217 - prohibits a person's public employment retirement benefit from being transferred to a pension advance company.
    • After passing the House 149-3, the Senate added a floor amendment and passed the bill 31-0.  The bill now heads back to the House for final passage.
  • SB 672 - omnibus bill (modifies laws regarding business, political subdivisions, garnishments, investments, et al);
    • Passed both Chambers but Senate did not agree with the House amendments.  Is in conference committee.
  • SB 693 - omnibus bill (modifies laws regarding taxation, merchandising practices, et al);
    • Passed both Chambers but Senate did not agree with the House amendments.  Is in conference committee.

Click here for a full list of bills that could potentially impact credit unions. MCUA continues to track and monitor a number of bills – whether moving or not – and watch for amendments to bills. This list is updated regularly.

Update on the General Assembly

The big news in Jefferson City this week was the successful override by the House and Senate of the tax reform bill, SB 509. The key vote in the House was Representative Keith English (D-District 68), who joined with Republicans to override Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) veto.

Republicans were touting the override and the impact it could have in creating jobs and helping in the state’s economic recovery.  Many school and advocacy groups believe the bill could have a chilling effect if there is a downturn in the economy after hitting the $150 million increase in general revenue which would trigger the tax cuts.  Possible legal challenges are also being considered by opponents of SB 509.  The discussions around potential legal challenges is likely to continue for some time.

The House and Senate also finished their work on the state’s operating budget a day ahead of the constitutional deadline.  The appropriation bills have now go to the Governor for his consideration. 

The 2014 state legislative session concludes on Friday, May 16 at 6 pm. 

Financial “Tip of the Week” – Credit or Debit:  Which Method Should You Choose?

During the 2014 legislative session, MCUA provides lawmakers with a financial “Tip of the Week” to share with constituents. This week, MCUA provided tips on the consumer protection differences between credit and debit cards.  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.

May Events Calendar

  • 16 - Session adjourns at 6 p.m.