Washington Legislative Week in Review

House Bill 1327 is expected receive a hearing before the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance Committee after some intense lobbying.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.

 

Public Funds for Credit Unions.  After some intense lobbying, it is expected that House Bill 1327 will receive a hearing before the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance Committee.  Once a hearing has been scheduled, Association staff will be looking for a strong show of support from credit unions to testify or sign in, 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.

Prize-Linked Savings Accounts.  Senate Bill 5232 received a hearing before the House State Government & Tribal Affairs Committee on Wednesday, March 9.  At the hearing it was discovered that the language passed by the Senate was incorrect and included a provision that any prize-linked savings product (such as a CD) must pay interest equal to the interest paid for a comparable product.  This was a proposed amendment to the bill which was set aside but somehow made it into the bill—so the bill will need to be amended to remove this language.  A second amendment was proposed by Rep. Gary Alexander that would require any prize-linked savings program to be of at least 12 months in duration.  The Association has agreed to this amendment in the interests of keeping the bill moving.  The bill would allow financial institutions to participate in prize-linked savings promotions which incent consumer savings by entering participants into drawings for cash prizes. 

Foreclosure.  House Bill 1362 is scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance Committee on Wednesday, March 16.  The bill includes language that will exempt all credit unions that conducted less than 250 deed of trust foreclosures in the last calendar year from the bill’s mandatory mediation provisions.  It also exempts these credit unions from paying for the cost of the mandatory mediation scheme created by the bill.  Association staff attended a final negotiation meeting on the bill this week, and continues to work with legislators and bill proponents on amendments.

Small Business Reg Relief.  House Bill 1150 received a hearing before Senate Government Operations, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee on Thursday, March 10.  The Association signed in, in support of the bill.  The bill extends from two to seven calendar days the grace period allowing a small business to correct a violation of a law or rule before sanctions can set in.

Service Members Civil Relief.  House Bill 1615 received a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 8.  The bill then passed by unanimous vote and was referred to the Senate Rules Committee.  The bill expands Washington’s existing service member protections to reservists called to active duty by the Governor for more than 30 consecutive days.  The Association remains neutral on the bill in its current form.

Financial Literacy.  House Bill 1594 received a hearing before the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee on Thursday, March 10.  The Association signed in, in support of the bill.  The bill adopts the Jump$tart national standards for K-12 personal finance education as the state’s essential academic learning requirements for financial education, subject to funds being appropriated to support school districts with curriculum and professional development to implement the standards.  House Bill 1684 received a hearing before the House Education Committee on the same day.  The bill requires the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to make an online financial education course equivalent to one-half of one high school credit available to all school districts, requires school districts to provide students with the opportunity to complete the on-line course, and encourages school districts to grant students credit for its successful completion.  The Association signed in, in support of the bill at the hearing.