Washington Legislative Week in Review
February 1, 2011
February 8, 2011
NWCUA-sponsored Senate Bill 5233 received a hearing before the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance Committee on Tuesday, February 1. The Association along with Phil Jones from Harborstone CU testified in support of the bill. The bill allows public entities to deposit public funds into federally chartered credit unions and increases the amount that may be deposited to the maximum level of NCUSIF insurance. Association staff are now following-up with committee members (counting votes) and will request the bill be considered for executive session this week.
As you will recall, its companion measure House Bill 1327 received a do pass recommendation by unanimous vote last week from the House Business & Financial Services Committee. We urge everyone to thank those committee members!
- Rep. Steve Kirby (D-29) Chair, (360) 786-7996
- Rep. Troy Kelley (D-28) Vice Chair, (360) 786-7890
- Rep. Barbara Bailey (R-10) Ranking Minority Member, (360) 786-7914
- Rep. Vincent Buys (R-42) Asst. Ranking Minority Member, (360) 786-7854
- Rep. Brian Blake (D-19), (360) 786-7870
- Rep. Cary Condotta (R-12), (360) 786-7954
- Rep. Zack Hudgins (D-11), (360) 786-7956
- Rep. Christopher Hurst (D-31), (360) 786-7866
- Rep. Kevin Parker (R-6), (360) 786-7922
- Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-43), (360) 786-7826
- Rep. Ann Rivers (R-18), (360) 786-7850
- Rep. Cindy Ryu (D-32), (360) 786-7880
- Rep. Derek Stanford (D-1), (360) 786-7928
NWCUA-sponsored House Bill 1326 received a hearing before the House State Government & Tribal Affairs Committee on Thursday, February 3. The Association along with members of the Washington Asset Building Coalition testified in support of the bill. The bill would allow financial institutions to participate in prize-linked savings promotions. Prize-linked savings programs start with low threshold certificates of deposit, and incent consumer savings by entering participants into drawings for cash prizes.
KOMO 4 TV was at the hearing and ran a segment on prize-linked savings during newscasts throughout the day, along with a feature on their website. The House bill is scheduled for a committee vote at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, February 7.
Association staff continue to work on getting its companion measure, Senate Bill 5232 out of the Senate Labor, Commerce & Consumer Protection Committee. An amendment had been offered to set the prize-linked CD rate at a level comparable to other 12-month CDs. The Association is working on having this amendment set aside. The bill is scheduled for a committee vote on Monday, February 7 at 10:00 a.m.
Association staff continue to participate in negotiations on House Bill 1362 and its companion measure, Senate Bill 5275. The Association opposes the bills in their current form because they add a complex mandatory mediation requirement to the foreclosure process. The bill also make existing statutory meet & confer requirements permanent and add penalties for failure to comply.
Usury Limits on Credit Cards. House Bill 1356 received a hearing before the House Business & Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, February 1. The Association signed in, in opposition to the bill. The bill prohibits financial institutions from charging credit card interest rates in excess of the state usury rate.
House Bill 1342 received a hearing before House Committee on Business & Financial Services on Tuesday, February 1. The Association testified in opposition to the bill. The bill requires lenders to use flood determinations made by local counties, cities or towns instead of flood determinations made by FEMA, which could be problematic if the flood certification is in error, making the loan unsalable on the secondary market.
House Bill 1847 was introduced on Friday, February 4. The bill proposes to eliminate various tax exemptions with recouped tax dollars used to provide additional funding to Washington’s Basic Health Plan. One of the tax exemptions slated for elimination is the bank B&O tax exemption for income earned on first mortgages. While this issue doesn’t impact credit unions, it’s something we’ll watch closely—both because any bill that proposes to eliminate tax exemptions should be carefully monitored, and because if eliminated, banks may be particularly prone to seeking the elimination of the credit union tax exemption in the interests of parity and a so-called level playing field.