Friday, April 27, 2012 – While most were predicting a long week of late nights and fireworks on the Senate floor, most were shocked at the ease with which the budget passed. The difference between the Senate and House budgets is approximately $80 million.
Credit union lobbyists were watching to make certain no legislator recommending stripping interest earned from dedicated funds – such as the credit union fund. Credit union exam fees go into a separate fund to pay for the expenses of the state regulator, the Missouri Division of Credit Unions. In years past, the General Assembly has at times swept the interest earned on deposits in the credit union fund and sent those dollars to General Revenue. Missouri’s statutory requirement to have a balanced budget has created this annual battle over budget dollars. Budget bills must now go to a conference committee composed of members of the House and Senate to resolve the differences. By state statute, the budget must be finalized by May 11.
A feud between the House and Senate has resulted in Senate bills being “loaded” with House bills in House committees. This means that House bills, some of them which had not even been debated in committee, were added as amendments to Senate bills. This means that the MCUA credit union lobbying team will be carefully checking all amendments for impact to credit union operations. This slows down the process of bills moving between the Houses because the Senate will now have to look at each of its returning bills to determine what has been added. Don’t fret for the Senate. It has its own ways of sending messages to the House.
As we near the May 18 adjournment deadline, we are seeing the credit union-requested changes to the salvage yard bill, SB 633, remaining unaltered. We are also watching for payday lending and foreclosure bills that could be offered as amendments.