Governor Inslee to Address Advocates at NWCUA’s Credit Union Day at the Capitol

The Washington Legislature is moving quickly through a full agenda as the third week of the session beings. The most important day of the session for credit unions is Thursday, the annual Credit Union Day at the Capitol. Advocates will begin their day with a visit from Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

Another key date is Friday, the cutoff for bills to pass out of their policy committees. The only exception is for bills in the House fiscal committees, Senate Ways & Means and Transportation committees, which have until February 9 to pass out of committee. Bills not meeting these cutoffs are considered dead.

Legislation Your Association Team is Tracking

Foreclosure

House Bill 2876 addresses the foreclosure of deeds of trust. In 2011, the Foreclosure Fairness Act (FFA) was created to help homeowners and lenders explore possible alternatives to foreclosure and reach a resolution whenever possible. The program is funded by fees paid by the financial institutions foreclosing on owner-occupied residential real property in Washington State. As foreclosure rates have now returned to pre-recession levels, FFA stakeholders, including the Association, have worked to “right size” the FFA. The bill makes changes to the FFA in order that services, including counseling and mediation, remain available and provision of these services is financially viable. As part of the negotiations, the Association agreed to support a reduction in the exemption level for financial institutions paying into the program. Under the bill, financial institutions issuing fewer than 50 notices of trustee sale in the previous year are exempt from the $250 fee per NOTS to fund the FFA. This is a reduction from the current exemption for financial institutions issuing fewer than 250 notices of default in the previous year. The bill received a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on January 28. Your Association signed on in support of the bill.

Financial Fraud

House Bill 2899 and its companion measure Senate Bill 5069 relate to the possession of instruments of financial fraud. Instruments used to commit financial fraud may include stolen checks, credit cards, or debit cards; fake checks with fictitious names or accounts; fake identification cards; or equipment to produce fake driver’s licenses or checks. The penalty for the possession of these instruments of financial fraud is a class C felony. The bills would make possession of a device that has the ability to capture, read, scan, store, record, transmit, or receive financial information from an access device, (such as magnetic card readers, skimming devices or ATM overlays) with the intent to commit financial fraud, a class C felony. HB 2899 is scheduled for a hearing before the House Public Safety Committee on February 2.

Educational Savings Accounts

House Bill 2662 creates the Washington Next Generation Educational Savings Account Program to expand educational opportunity and financial capability for every child born or adopted in the state. The bill would require the Washington Student Achievement Council to: (1) administer the program; (2) partner with one or more private organizations to establish and fund the program; and (3) determine when an adequate amount of funding has been secured to begin implementation of the program. The intent is to finance the program with non-state funds by partnering with the state’s robust philanthropic sector and business and industry leaders. The program would be created in the custody of the State Treasurer with expenditures from the account permitted for tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution, room and board, and special needs services incurred in connection with such enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. The Council is also required shall coordinate with the Financial Education Public Private Partnership (FEPPP) to make financial literacy information available to beneficiaries and their families enrolled in the program. The bill is scheduled for a hearing before the House Higher Education Committee on February 2.

DFI agency request legislation

Mortgage Lending Fraud – House Bill 2315 and its companion measure Senate Bill 6282 address the expiration date of the Mortgage Lending Fraud Prosecution Account. The bills delay the expiration date of the account and related surcharge ($1 at the recording of a deed of trust) until June 30, 2021. Both bills have now passed out of their respect policy committees and were referred to their Rules Committee.

Securities – House Bill 2316 and its companion measure Senate Bill 6283 make technical changes to the Securities Act of Washington. Both bills have now passed out of their respect policy committees and were referred to their Rules Committee.

Public Funds

Senate Bill 6349 and its companion measure House Bill 2640 update public funds collateral requirements under the Public Deposit Protection Commission (PDPC) and make some additional technical changes. SB 6349 has now passed out of the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee and was referred to the Senate Rules Committee.

Marijuana Banking

Senate Bill 6207 and its companion measure House Bill 2584 make marijuana related information provided to the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) exempt from public disclosure under the Public Records Act (PRA). The Association confirmed that should this legislation become law, it would not impede a financial institution banking marijuana businesses from accessing information required for the ongoing monitoring of these accounts to stay in compliance with federal guidelines. SB 6207 has now passed out of the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee and was referred to the Senate Rules Committee.

Credit Union Day at the Capitol

Registration is still open online. Our goal 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.

Come help us spread the word about how credit unions are different. Register today!

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

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