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LAS VEGAS – Privacy legislation-one of the most contentious issues in the California Assembly over the past few years-is expected to take center stage again next year and a bill is likely to reach the governor’s desk, an official with the California Credit Union League said. “Privacy is going to resurface again as a very significant issue,” said Bob Arnould, league vice president for state governmental affairs. The legislature has failed in the past three years to pass financial privacy legislation. In the last session, a bill (SB773) by Sen. Jackie Speier had won the support of the league and others but was opposed by the banking and insurance industry. Speier said opponents had spent more than $15 million to defeat the measure over the last two years. Privacy legislation passed by local governments is being challenged in the courts, Arnould noted, and “there’s an ongoing question of whether Congress will do some preempting of privacy legislation.” A statewide ballot initiative in 2004 has also been mentioned as a way to enact financial privacy legislation in California.

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