MCUA Advocacy testified in support of a Missouri Senate bill that would limit patent troll abuse. David Kent, director of state legislative affairs, provided credit union input on the issue during the March 4 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on SB 706 . The bill is sponsored by Senator Mike Cunningham (R-District 33) (pictured).
MCUA previously testified in support on the identical House bill, HB 1374 sponsored by Rep. Tony Dugger (R-District 141). Both bills set 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. U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D) introduced patent trolling legislation on the Federal level. Click here to read McCaskill's bill.
"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."
MCUA Advocacy Efforts Featured in CUNA News Now
MCUA’s opposition to two tax lien transfer bills was featured recently by the Credit Union National Association. You can read the full article here.
The bills, HB 1658 sponsored by Rep. Noel Torpey (R-District 29) and SB 903 sponsored by Senator Ryan Silvey (R-District 17), would allow a third party business to pay off a property owner’s delinquent property taxes. In return, the tax lender receives lien priority, allowing the lender to foreclose if payments are missed. Property tax lenders use the lien priority as leverage in order to force financial institutions to pay off the loan balance.
MCUA Advocacy strongly opposes both bills and is working hard to ensure the bills don’t move forward in the Missouri legislature.
MCUA Hosts Event for Representative John Mayfield
Representative John Mayfield (D-District 20) held a fundraiser at Missouri Credit Union Association’s Jefferson City office on March 5. Approximately 30 friends and supporters attended the event throughout the evening.
Representative Mayfield is a member of the House Financial Institutions Committee. According to Project Zip Code, 6,952 credit union members live in Representative Mayfield's district.
(pictured: Rep. John Mayfield)
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” - Tips for Saving and Budgeting for a Dream Vacation
During the 2014 legislative session, MCUA is providing lawmakers with a financial “Tip of the Week” to share with their constituents. On March 6, MCUA provided tips to help consumers save and budget for a dream vacation. 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.