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Credit Union Times asked leagues’ government affairs managers to describe the top legislative and regulatory issues on their league’s radar screen for 2004. Here is what they said: Alabama CU League: Threat of taxation legislation due to state budget shortfalls; modernization of the state Credit Union Act; amending state FOM rules (proposal is out for public comment); MBL and other regulatory enhancements. Arizona CU League: Changing name of the “State Banking Department” to “the Department of Financial Institutions”; revising the Banking Superintendent’s job description from must have five years of executive management “in a bank or regulatory agency” to “in a financial institution or regulatory agency”; supporting an identity theft bill that includes theft of “entity identifying information.” Arkansas CU League: The state legislature is in a special session focusing on education reform. There are several bills being considered on how to raise money to fund education, and some of those may affect the way CUs do business in the state. HB 1029 and HB 1030 would tax fees on many financial institution services. California CU League: Possible predatory lending bill and legislation that would let CUs cash checks, issue money orders and remit money to anyone in their FOM. The league may also get involved in the fight over the state’s budget. Legislation has also been introduced for the Dept. of Financial Institutions to regulate ATMs not directly owned by financials. Colorado CU League: Continuation of the state credit union regulatory body, the Division of Financial Services; identity theft and related issues; involvement in upcoming elections. Connecticut CU Association: Passage of three proposals in the state General Assembly – lienholder notification in instances where municipalities have towed vehicles that are then deemed abandoned. This proposal will ensure CUs that have a security interest in a vehicle, receive timely notification; remove language in the CU branching statutes that allows the Commissioner to deny a single, multiple or community FOM CU branch application based on an oversaturation of CUs in that area; addition of non-returned statements as proof of active accounts in the escheatment process. Delaware CU League: Make Sate Rep. Donna Stone (R-32), who voted for the Natl. Conference of State Legislature’s resolution to recommend all CUs be taxed, more aware of the value CUs have to offer especially since she sponsored a CU-supported financial literacy bill. Florida CU League: The League is watching any effort by the banking industry to repeal CUs’ tax exempt status and is closely tracking bills that would serve as a “vehicle” for that. The League plans to meet with the bills’ sponsors to assess their intent. Also monitoring several banking association initiatives to make their operations more efficient to make sure they do not impinge on CU operations. The league is also conducting a review of the statute regulating SCCUs and plans to have recommendations ready for the 2005 legislative session. Georgia CU Affiliates: Payday lending – Georgia either changes the law to outlaw the practice or strongly regulates the industry; support of the Dept. of Banking and Finance housekeeping bill which provides parity for SCCUs with FCUs regarding having an optional credit committee; monitor legislation to make sure no amendments are made to the Georgia Fair Lending law that negatively impact CUs. Idaho CU League: Bankruptcy reform, Unrelated Business Income Tax. Illinois CU System: Advancing 3 legislative proposals – changes to Credit Union Act, the Deposit of State Monies Act, and the Mortgage Certificate of Release Act. The league is finalizing the language for these proposals with DFI and other financial industry groups. Indiana CU League: Public funds – current state law allows SCCUs with $3 million or more in assets to accept public funds deposits not in excess of 10% of a CU’s assets. A bill has been passed by the state House financial Institutions Committee to raise the cap to 20%; predatory lending/mortgage fraud – working to ensure legislation addresses issues such as fraudulent appraisals and income statements, and other deceptive practices while opposing stringent and unfair lending regulation that could stifle mortgage lending. Iowa CU League: Passing legislation modifying the state CU code; getting upper management CU employees and board members elected to the state legislature; monitoring banker’s efforts to pass legislation allowing banks to organize as LLCs. Kansas CU Association: Monitoring a bill that would allow SRS to place a hold on any account of a senior citizen for 10 days with a written notice to the financial institution when a report of fiduciary abuse or exploitation has been filed; monitoring Gov. Kathleen Sebelins’ (D) plan that requires some $300 million in new taxes. So far, Republican legislators are unsupportive of that plan. Louisiana CU League: Legislative session begins March 20, and there are no pre-filed bills yet. The Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions informed the league they will not be sponsoring any legislation that affects CUs. When the session begins, the league will be watching for legislation to tax CUs or negatively impacts CUs. Maine CU League: The league is monitoring several bills such as: An Act to Amend the Maine Consumer Credit Code Regarding Balloon Payments (LD 1683) – league supports; An Act to Require Written Notice of Revocation of Durable Powers of Attorney (LD 1775) – league opposes; An Act to Amend the Laws Governing Mechanics’ Liens (LD 1781) – league opposes; An Act to Permit the Photocopying of Driver’s Licenses in Financial Transactions (LD 1802) – league supports. Also preparing for November elections Maryland CU League: Taxes and fees; identity theft, fraud, and security issues; consumer protection measures. Massachusetts CU League: Pending league-introduced legislation includes proposals to expand CU branching authority; expand deposit caps; permit certain director insurance coverages; streamline corporate governance and operations; and update the Legal List of Investments. League is also monitoring bills concerning payday lending, predatory lending, and consumer credit counseling. On the regulatory front, ensuring access and quick responses to FOM, examination, and operational issues remain important. Michigan CU League: Implementation of state Credit Union Act of 2003 (takes effect June 1, 2004); Gov. Granholm and state lawmakers will do a comprehensive review of Michigan’s tax structure. They will be looking at possible taxing certain fees on services like transferring funds, stop payments, and returned deposits; be prepared to counter banker attacks on CUs and CU tax exemption status. Mississippi CU System: Bankruptcy reform. Missouri CU Assoc.: Identity theft; playing defense on taxation; possible threats to CUs’ regulatory environments through state government cutbacks. Montana CU Network: Preparing the grassroots for possible banker attacks; doing grassroots training via webinar and charter meetings; co-sponsoring a campaign school; developing a Grassroots Force of members and volunteers to contact the state legislature on short note. Nebraska CU League: League is promoting 3 bills – Gift Enterprise Act (LB-189) to include FCUs and SCCUs in the definition of an operator authorized to conduct a Gift Enterprise; Public Funds (LB-886) would allow public entities the option of depositing funds in CUs; Banking Department Bill (LB-999) – section 21 of the bill amends the state Credit Union Act “wildcard” statute and give SCCUs parity with FCUs doing business in Nebraska. Nevada CU League: Developing an advocacy strategy for this year for when the state legislature convenes in 2005. There have been indications there could be legislation to clean-up the tax package passed for banks in 2003. Could be an opportunity for banks to bring CUs into tax debate. New Hampshire CU League: Monitoring public hearings on consumer credit disclosures, high interest loans, real estate lending and brokers, credit reports, consumer reporting agencies, and revisions to the consumer protection act. Also watching developments concerning interstate branching, lending issues, and the impact of possible consolidation of state agencies on CUs. New Jersey CU League: CU Charter Modernization (FOM expansion issues; MBL issues, seeking parity with FCUs; stronger parity provision); Private Share Insurance – the law to allow it exists in the state but the regulator has never approved it; increase awareness among newly elected state officials of CU difference. New Mexico CU League: On state level, following two bills that are amendments to the Home Protection Act – SB 228 repeals sction 7 of the HLPA that allowed the borrower to asset claims against the creditor or holdr of the loan for claims against a seller for manufactured housing or home improvement loans; SB 473 also repeals section 7 and amends section 4 concerning “flipping provisions.” On federal level, monitoring bankruptcy reform and reg relief legislation, as well as the IDA legislation. New York State CU League: Municipal deposits in CUs – only commercial banks are currently allowed to accept deposits from local and state government; Strengthening and protecting the state CU charter – push for legislation to make the charter more advantageous to SCCUs and attractive to FCUs; CU Development Districts – CUs want inclusion in this program that provides property tax breaks to banks and thrifts that set up branches in underserved area and allows municipalities to invest funds in those institutions at special interest rates. North Carolina CU Network: State budget; payday lending. Ohio CU League: Electronic lien filing and vehicle titling; greater flexibility with CUSOs; member business lending requirements; tax reform studies or proposals. Oklahoma CU League: Auto brokering legislation – change law to allow CUs to provide service to members; Electronic Lien Filing – give CUs and banks the ability to file liens online; Budget/tax issues – many groups in state legislature are looking at new taxes and increases in existing taxes to support state budget. CU Assoc. of Oregon: Prepare for a legislative and media attack against CUs. Plan for any attempt to tax SCCUs, expect it to be an issue in the 2005 legislative session. Pennsylvania CU Association: Protect tax exemption for SCCUs; work to protect SCCUs’ rights gained from 2002 State Credit Union Parity Act including parity with FCUs with regard to powers, FOM and CUSOs; keep CUs apprised of UBIT developments; support legislative efforts concerning payday and predatory lending protection. Rhode Island CU League: Monitor fiscal health of state; protect SCCUs’ tax-exemption and imposition of additional fees and costs on CUs and members; evaluate legislation and advocate for a more favorable climate in streamlining lending transactions and regulatory requirements regarding corporate governance; promote competitive state and federal CU system. South Carolina CU League: Execute a legislative fix to the South Carolina Consumer Protection Code’s section concerning late charges; block any attempts to water-down last year’s predatory lending act; clarify what is required in 2003 law mandating personal financial education for high school graduation in South Carolina. Texas CU League: Working with new Check 21 regulations; home equity line of credit regulations are in development states; school finance reform and taxes and any changes in state tax code affecting CUs. Utah League of Credit Unions: The League is watching developments of several bills this year including Motor Vehicle Purchase Amendments (HB 178); Internet Privacy Act (HB 216); Insurance Law Provisions (HB 245); Identity Theft (SB 16); Dishonored Checks – Motor Vehicle Repair Facilities (SB 106); and Financial Institution Amendments (SB 176). Vermont CU League: The 150-page rewrite and modernization of the state’s CU statutes; give SCCUs parity with FCUs; monitor rumors of attempts to get CUs taxed, restrictions of FOMs and limitations on powers. Virginia CU League: Preserving CUs’ federal and state tax exemption; preserving the dual chartering system; preserving the ability of CUs to serve their members. Washington CU League: Financial literacy; landlord trust accounts; biometrics (driver’s license security & identity theft prevention); CU-to-bank conversions; overdraft protection and debt cancellation regulations West Virginia CU League: Legislation that gives SCCUs parity with FCUs regarding community chartering; federal bankruptcy reform; educating CUs on new Check 21 legislation and regulations. Wisconsin CU League: Monitor several bills and rules such as AB 2 concerning issues such as CU membership, powers, operation and regulation; the application of agriculture, trade, and consumer protection statutes to CUs; creation of a new type of financial institution and applicable powers and requirements; discharge of governmental liens under the UCC; providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures. Also legislation requiring a course in personal finance for high school graduation. Wyoming CU League: Consumer financial education; involvement in upcoming elections; voter registration. Note: information for the following leagues was not provided – Alaska, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Minnesota, North/South Dakota, Tennessee.

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