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At the State Capitol

February 24, 2012

Credit Unions Lobby Against SB 633

Missouri credit unions sent nearly 200 contacts to Senate offices, and in addition called staffers and visited district offices of their senator to deliver the message, “SB 633 is not good for credit unions or consumers.”  If the broad definition remains regarding what constitutes an inoperable car that is over 10 model years old, but less than 20, a situation will be created that encourages even more car theft in Missouri. With scrap metal prices on the rise and fewer safeguards to prevent cars from being stolen and scrapped, it could be expected that members could experience more theft and fraud. 

South Carolina previously enacted legislation that did not require a title if the car was over eight years old and experienced such an increase in theft that a bill has been introduced in this legislative session to require a 15-day waiting period, increase the number from eight to 15 years before less stringent rules kick in, and add penalties.

According to National Insurance Crime Bureau, these are the top ten cars stolen in 2010. Notice how many are around the 10-year-old mark.

Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles in Missouri in 2010

10. Pontiac Grand Am 2001  (at least 10 years old)

9. Chevrolet Impala 2010

8. Dodge Stratus 2004

7. Pontiac Grand Prix 2002  (at least 10 years old)

6. Dodge Intrepid 2000  (at least 10 years old)

5. Ford Taurus 1999  (at least 10 years old)

4. Ford F150 Series/Pickup 2004

3. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) 1994  (at least 10 years old)

2. Dodge Ram 2003

1. Dodge Caravan 2000 (at least 10 years old)

After being told that the bill sponsor was not willing to talk to us about changes, contacts made by credit union advocates have encouraged several senators to say they will approach Sen. Kevin Engler (R-District 3) and ask him to work with credit unions on this issue. MCUA is hopeful to have discussions the week of February 27.

Payday Lending

All is quiet on the payday lending front.  Those bills are not moving. 

Redistricting

What is not quiet at the Capitol is ongoing controversy regarding redrawing state senate and house districts. In hearings held quickly and quietly in Senate rooms off the chamber, comments were blistering as sitting senators opposed scenarios that would significantly change the party makeup of their district, or draw them out entirely so they would be forced to sit out for two years before they could run again. Currently, senators serve for four years with half of the Senate up for re-election every two-year cycle.

Credit Union Commission Fully Seated

Laura Verhulst, an attorney from Ballwin, was confirmed as a public member of the Missouri Credit Union Commission and will serve a six year term.  She replaces Eric Park, a financial advisor from Washington. The Commission, which has had vacancies for the last few years, is again fully seated.

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