Washington Legislative Week in Review, Feb 9-13

At the beginning of each legislative session, a cutoff calendar for consideration of legislation is adopted by both the House and the Senate. The cut-off calendar establishes deadlines which bills have to meet in order to be eligible for further consideration by the Legislature. Friday, February 20 is the cutoff for bills to pass out of their policy committee. The only exception is for bills in the House fiscal committees, the Senate Ways & Means committee, and Transportation committees. Bills not meeting this cutoff are considered dead.

The NWCUA’s priority bill, House Bill 1871 addressing credit unions’ corporate governance and investments, received a hearing before the House Business & Financial Services Committee on February 11. Association staff testified in support of the bill. The Community Bankers of Washington testified “with concerns” on Section 4 of the bill which would increase the amount of its assets a credit union may invest in or loan to a CUSO from 1%, to 5%. The bill’s companion measure, Senate Bill 5757 also received a hearing last week, before the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee on February 12. Once again, Association staff testified in support and the community bankers testified with concerns on the CUSO provision. The community bankers have yet to offer any amendments. House Bill 1871 is scheduled for Executive Session on Tuesday, which means it’s likely to be passed out of committee.

House Bill 1872 authorizing credit unions to receive supplemental capital received a hearing before the House Business & Financial Services Committee on February 11. Association President/CEO Troy Stang testified in support of the bill along with independent consultant John Lass and Debie Keesee, President/CEO of Spokane Media FCU and Member of the NWCUA Board of Directors. Representatives from both the Washington Bankers Association and the Community Bankers of Washington testified in opposition to the bill. Committee Chair Steve Kirby commented that the issue needs further discussion.

Other Bills We Are Tracking

Credit Union Act

House Bill 1062 is DFI agency request legislation to amend the Washington Credit Union Act. The bill passed the House on February 11 by a vote of 85-13 and was then referred to the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee. Association staff learned that those House members voting no had concerns with Section 15 of the bill which would, upon a written finding, give the Director of Credit Unions authority to suspend or restrict deposit withdrawals for the purpose of preventing a run on deposits.

Financial Fraud

House Bill 1090 reauthorizes and expands the Financial Fraud and Identity Theft Crimes Investigation and Prosecution Program. The bill received a do-pass recommendation from the House General Government & Informational Technology Committee on February 10 and was referred to the House Rules Committee.

Supplemental Operating Budget

House Bill 1105 adjusts state spending through June 30 and would pay for more mental health treatment capacity, the eastern Washington wildfires, the Oso landslide, the homecare shared living lawsuit, and children’s services. The bill passed the Senate on February 11 by a vote of 46-0 with 3 excused. Having been amended in the Senate, the bill was referred back to the House which concurred with the Senate amendments and passed the amended bill on February 12 by a vote of 89-8 with 1 excused. The bill will now be send to Governor Inslee for his signature.

Financial Literacy

Senate Bill 5349 would require institutions of higher education to take reasonable steps to ensure that each enrolled student participates in a live financial literacy seminar. The bill received a do-pass recommendation from the Senate Government Operations & Security Committee on February 12 and was referred to the Senate Ways & Means Committee.

Credit Union Day at the Capitol

Join us on Thursday! This Thursday, February 19, we will hold our annual Credit Union Day at the Capitol in Olympia. Our goal is to have every legislator receive a visit from a credit union constituent on that day. Come help us spread the word about how credit unions are different. To learn more and to register visit our website.

Look for the Washington Legislative Week in Review each week in Anthem during legislative session which runs January 29 – April 26, 2015.

Look for the Washington Legislative Week in Review each week during session in Anthem. If you have questions or comments, please contact Mark Minickiello, mminickiello@nwcua.org, 206.340.4812.

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