Public Funds, Payroll Card Legislation on Washington Credit Unions’ Priority List

House Bill 2505 concerning payroll cards was introduced on January 18 and has been scheduled for a hearing before the House Business & Financial Services Committee on January 26.

The bills create definitions for “payroll deposit account” and “payroll card,” according to Mark Minickiello, Vice President, Legislative Affairs for the Northwest Credit Union Association. 

A payroll deposit account is any account directly or indirectly established through an employer in which wages are deposited.

A payroll card is a prepaid card or other access device used to access wages in a payroll deposit account.

The bills would also require a financial institution holding a payroll deposit account to provide access to ATMs that offer withdrawals at no cost to the employee, and prohibit them from charging maintenance, declined transaction, or balance inquiry fees to consumers. The bills prohibit payroll cards from being issued if the terms of the card violate any of those provisions and state agreements made in violation of the provisions or requiring any person to violate those provisions are void and unenforceable, but only as to agreements made on or after January 1, 2017.

Legislative Action Request

If your credit union holds payroll deposit accounts or provides payroll cards please contact Mark Minickiello at 253.709.7921 or mminickello@nwcua.org

 

New Public Funds Legislation

Senate Bill 6349 and its companion measure, House Bill 2640, concern public funds and deposits. The Public Deposit Protection Commission (PDPC) administers a program to ensure public funds deposited in banks and thrifts are protected if a financial institution becomes insolvent. The Commission approves which financial institutions can hold state and local government deposits and monitors collateral used to secure uninsured public deposits when deposits exceed the amount of federal deposit insurance. The bills address letters of credit and investment deposits as collateral for public deposits, clarify that a public depository may include a financial institution with tax exempt status (credit unions), and replace references to the Seattle Federal Home Loan Bank, with a generic reference to a federal home loan bank.

SB 6349 received a hearing before the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee on January 20 which then gave it a do pass recommendation and referred the bill to the Senate Rules Committee. HB 2640 is scheduled for a hearing before the House Business & Financial Services Committee on January 27.

Credit Union Day at the Capitol

While Minickiello remains vigilant guarding credit unions’ interests every day, a landmark day for the credit union community is Thursday, February 4, the annual Credit Union Day at the Capitol in Olympia. The goal, Minickiello says, is to have every legislator receive a visit from a credit union constituent on that day. The conference is free and the short program makes sending branch staff easier.

10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Free registration
Free parking (space limited)
No tie required (dress as you would for work – logo-wear encouraged)

“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 said. “Come help us spread the word about how credit unions are different. Register today!” Registration is open online.

Editor’s note: A comprehensive list of issues your Association is tracking in Olympia this year can be found here.

Questions about this story? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.

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