Washington Legislative Week in Review: Key Legislation Advances

As Washington’s politically divided Legislature enters the third week of its 60-day session, the Northwest Credit Union Association is keeping a close watch on bills of interest to its members. Here’s what’s currently on the NWCUA’s radar:

NWCUA-Sponsored Legislation

Credit Union Mergers: House Bill 2140 and Senate Bill 6029 give Washington state-chartered credit unions parity with federally chartered credit unions regarding mergers.

  • House Bill 2140, concerning credit unions’ mergers, was passed to the House Rules Committee on Jan. 21 after receiving a unanimous vote by the House Business & Financial Services Committee.
  • Senate Bill 6029, concerning credit unions’ mergers, received a hearing before the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance Committee on Jan. 21. Association staff testified in support of the bill. There was no opposition. The bill then was passed to the Senate Rules Committee by unanimous vote on Jan. 23.

Legislation Requested by the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI)

Banks and Trust Companies: Banking and trust provisions are currently commingled under Title 30 RCW. The title’s chapters govern both the conduct and regulation of banks and trust companies. There are concerns regarding the transparency of banks and trust companies being regulated under the same statute. A committee of public and private stakeholders met between legislative sessions to review the statute and made recommendations to DFI for possible amendments. HB 2141 and SB 6135 divide Title 30 RCW into two separate acts: the Washington State Commercial Banking Act, codified under Title 30A; and the Washington Trust Institutions Act (WTIA), codified under Title 30B.

  • House Bill 2141, addressing banks and trust companies, was passed to the House Rules Committee on Jan. 23 after being passed by the House Business & Financial Services Committee.
  • Senate Bill 6135, addressing banks and trust companies, received a hearing before the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance Committee on Jan. 21. The bill then was passed to the Senate Rules Committee on Jan. 23.

Non-depository Institutions: House Bill 2452 and Senate Bill 6134 impose a five-year statute of limitations for violations of laws governing non-depository institutions, ensure continuing privacy of information disclosed to DFI, require reporting by licensees registered with nationwide licensing entities, and modify procedures for fingerprinting and background checks.

  • House Bill 2452, addressing non-depository institutions regulated by DFI, received a hearing before the House Business & Financial Services Committee on Jan. 21. The bill was then passed to the House Rules Committee on Jan. 22.
  • Senate Bill 6134, addressing non-depository institutions regulated by DFI, received a hearing before the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance Committee on Jan. 21. The bill then was passed to the Senate Rules Committee on Jan. 23.

Community Bankers of Washington Legislation

B&O Tax Deduction: House Bill 2521 and Senate Bill 6269 say that a bank’s Business & Occupation tax deduction for income on loans secured by a first mortgage is intended to apply to all amounts charged to borrowers for the use of money, not to fees for incidental services such as appraisals when charged to the borrower. The accounting requirement that salary and other direct expenses be deducted from this income before amortization over the life of the loan does not change the character of the income or the applicability of the deduction for purposes of excise tax. The legislature intends that the Department of Revenue should administer the deduction for income on loans secured by a first mortgage fully and according to the original intent of the legislature, without regard to accounting peculiarities required by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

  • House Bill 2521, concerning the first mortgage interest Business & Occupation tax deduction, was introduced on Jan. 20 and referred to the House Finance Committee.
  • Senate Bill 6269, concerning the first mortgage interest Business & Occupation tax deduction, was introduced on Jan. 20 and referred to the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance Committee, where it is scheduled for a hearing on Jan. 28.

Other Legislation

Property Taxes: House Bill 2513, modifying collection dates for property taxes paid through escrow, was introduced on Jan. 20 and referred to the House Finance Committee. The bill would change the due date for property tax payments from Oct. 31 to July 31 if the property taxes are held in an escrow account by a financial institution.

Credit Union Day at the Capitol

Join NWCUA on Thursday, Feb. 6, for Credit Union Day at the Capitol in Olympia. This year’s event will include a legislative briefing (Gov. Jay Inslee and leaders from the state House and Senate have been invited), and advocates will also get a chance to “hike the hill” in small groups and share the credit union message in face-to-face meetings with legislators from their districts.

“Our goal is to have every legislator meet with a credit union representative from their district,” Minickiello says. Registration is free, and the day’s 10 a.m. start and 4 p.m. finish mean no overnight hotel stay is necessary and the time commitment is minimal.

There’s no need for business attire. “Instead of going to the branch that day,” Minickiello says, “we’re asking folks to point their car toward Olympia and help us make a big impact on lawmakers who may not even be aware of the wonderful things credit unions do.”

“If our state legislators don’t know anything about credit unions or the great things we do for our members and our communities, then they assume we are just like banks,” Minickiello says. “Come help us spread the word about how credit unions are different. Register today!”

Mark Minickiello will report from Olympia each week that the Washington Legislature is in session; look for his “Washington Legislative Week in Review” every Tuesday in Anthem. For more information, contact Minickiello at mminickiello@nwcua.org or 206.340.4812.

 

Questions? Contact Gary Stein: 503.350.2216, gstein@nwcua.org.

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