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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – The Louisiana Credit Union League has taken a tally to assess how credit unions fared during the last legislative session that ended June 23, and based on its evaluation, Louisiana credit unions fared well during the session. That’s the assessment of LCUL Corporate Legal Services Attorney Gary Robinson. “The League tracked more than 50 bills this session. We were pleased with everything that passed, and the issue of credit union taxation was not raised,” he said. State legislators supported financial education for students in two separate bills passed during the 2003 regular session of the Louisiana Legislature. One mandates personal finance instruction for high school students; the other requires credit card issuers to provide certain information to students in tandem with credit card solicitations. Act 38 (SB 38) requires that free enterprise curriculum already being taught to Louisiana high school students now include instruction in personal finance, beginning with the 2004-2005 school year. Topics mandated for the course are income, money management, spending, credit, savings and investing. Schools will be using the National Endowment for Financial Education’s High School Financial Planning Programr (NEFE) curriculum, donated by the state’s credit unions. In addition, in response to the wave of giveaways on college campuses in conjunction with credit card solicitations, Act 1010 (HB 107) prohibits credit card issuers from offering “gratuities or anything of value” to students to get them to “read, review or consider” applying for a credit card, without also providing them with a credit card education brochure. Two bills introduced by the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions, Act 362 (HB 191) and Act 363, better align state regulations with NCUA regulations and make it easier for credit unions to expand fields of membership with bylaw amendments. Other bills passed that affect credit unions include: Act 639 (HB 517) which adds “average daily account balance” to the list of financial institution reporting requirements for non-custodial parents who owe past due child support, otherwise known as “deadbeat parent” accounts. Currently, Louisiana financial institutions report only the name, address and social security number for such parents; and Act 934 (HB 973), which provides protection for victims of identity theft, including victim filing of police reports, creditors providing the victim with all information obtained through an identity theft; granting immunity to creditors acting in good faith when providing information; placing security alerts on victims’ credit reports, credit reporting agencies maintaining a toll-free telephone number to accept security alerts from consumers, and liability for entities that violate the provisions of this law. [email protected]

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