NWCUA-Sponsored Bills Receive Do-Pass Committee Recommendations

Two bills sponsored by the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) to improve the Washington Credit Union Act passed out of their respective committees last week in the State Legislature, clearing an early hurdle in the path to passage.

Senate Bill 5302 and Substitute House Bill 1582 each address credit unions’ corporate governance and investments and would allow credit unions in the state to begin paying board members, who have traditionally been unpaid volunteers.

SB 5302 received a do-pass recommendation from the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance Committee on Feb. 12 and was referred to the Senate Rules Committee.

HB 1582 received a do-pass recommendation the next day from the House Business & Financial Services Committee before being referred to the House Rules Committee.

The House Business & Financial Services Committee held hearings last week on scrap metal theft and licensing, nonprofit debt adjusters, request legislation from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC), appraisers, tax treatment of investment securities for banks, cigar lounges, and licensing requirements for estheticians.

The Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee additionally held hearings on money transmitters, OIC request legislation, down payment assistance by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, tenant screening, real property redemption, debt adjusters, the Washington Investment Trust (state bank), mortgage brokers, and affordable housing.

Friday will be the last day to read in committee reports in house of origin, except House fiscal committees and Senate Ways & Means and Transportation committees. Bills not related to the budget must be passed out of their policy committees by Feb. 22 or are considered dead.

Washington Legislative Week in Review

Collection of Unpaid Wages – House Bill 1467, which addresses the collection of unpaid wages, received a do-pass recommendation from the House Labor & Workforce Development Committee on Feb. 14 and was referred to the House Rules Committee. The bill modifies procedures for the collection of unpaid wages by the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). As part of the bill, L&I is authorized to match its outstanding warrants against deposit accounts held by financial institutions registered in Washington State.

The Association has concerns with the additional regulatory burden this bill would place on credit unions.

Exchange Facilitators – Substitute Senate Bill 5082 passed the Senate on Feb. 15 by a vote of 47-0 with two excused. The bill would require exchange facilitators to provide clients and post on their website a disclosure notice which explicitly states that facilitator services are not regulated by any state agency. It would also require that exchange facilitators deposit client funds into a separately identifiable account and the client must have access to the current account statement from the financial institution in order to verify that the exchange funds have been deposited by the facilitator.

The substitute version of the bill adds definitions to the exchange facilitator statute and covered dishonest acts, and it requires exchange facilitators to maintain a fidelity bond for a client that suffers a direct financial loss as a result of the exchange facilitator’s covered dishonest acts. Covered dishonest acts are defined as crimes involving fraud, embezzlement, misappropriation of funds, robbery, or other theft of property.

DFI Bank Legislation – Substitute House Bill 1325 and its companion, Substitute Senate Bill 5208, concerning banks, trust companies, savings banks, and savings associations, and making technical amendments to the laws governing the department of financial institutions, received do-pass recommendations from their respective policy committees and were referred to Rules.

The substitute version of the bills clarify that provisions related to nonconforming loans, in addition to provisions related to lending limits, apply to trust companies. It also modifies the phrasing of immunity for conservators and revises other language throughout the bill for clarity.

Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team:

Jennifer Wagner, Vice President of Legislative Advocacy
Mark Minickiello, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Pam Leavitt, Policy Advisor

Posted in Advocacy News.