Senator Kevin Engler (R-District 3), sponsor of SB 633, the “salvage bill,” agreed to a credit union amendment to the bill that better protected credit union and consumer interests in motor vehicles more than 10 model years old. Of 12 groups that were involved in negotiations on the bill, credit unions were the only group that stood up for owners of cars more than ten years old. That bill is now on its way to the House.
Payday Lending Issue in Committees
In other action, both Senate and House committees heard payday lending bills this week. The bill offered by Senator Kiki Curls (D-District 9) would create a loan fund from $1 charges on payday loans. The fund would be used to help provide low-cost loans in low-income areas. Rep. Ward Franz’s (R-District 151) bill would mandate that disclosures on payday lending bills be in 14 point font. Because only eight out of 34 senators are Democrats, it is unlikely that Sen. Curls’ bill will receive floor time. However, it is possible that the Franz bill will be heard on the House floor and give both opponents and proponents of payday lending an opportunity to speak on the issue in an election year. In the unlikely event that a payday lending bill passes, it could be overridden if the payday lending ballot initiative goes on the ballot and passes in November.
Bill Heard to increase Penalties for Financial Exploitation of the Elderly
HB 1515, sponsored by Rep. Rodney Schad (R-District 115), was voted out of the Crime Prevention committee on March 21. The bill changes the elements of the crime of elder abuse in the second degree and the crime of financial exploitation of an elderly or disabled person. This change would mean that an individual can be charged for knowingly by undue influence obtaining control over an elderly or disabled person’s property with the intent to harm the person.
Looking forward to next week, both the House and Senate will be working on passing their own bills. In addition, House passed-budget bills that include appropriations for state government and state-sponsored programs will move to Senate committees. HB 2007 includes the Division of Credit Unions appropriations and, to date, includes no reductions affecting credit unions.