Legislation of Interest to Washington Credit Unions in Spotlight in Olympia

Now that the legislature has passed the “house of origin” cutoff date, the remaining weeks of session will go quickly.  Friday, February 26 is the cutoff for bills to pass out of the policy committees they were referred to in the opposite chamber.  One week later—March 4—is the deadline for bills to pass out of the opposite chamber, and March 10 is the final day allowed for regular session.

Of interest to credit unions this week is a change in membership to the House Business & Financial Services Committee. Rep. Andrew Barkis (R-2) who was appointed to the legislature to fill the seat left vacant with the resignation of Graham Hunt was appointed to the committee, replacing Rep. Drew MacEwen (R-35).

Still active bills the NWCUA is tracking include:

Credit Report Freezes

The NWCUA supports House Bill 2859, which concerns credit report security freezes for minors and incapacitated people.  The bill permits an authorized representative to request a credit report security freeze on behalf of a minor or an incapacitated person.  The bill waives the fee for placing a security freeze on a minor’s credit file if the consumer reporting agency already has a file on the minor, and requires the issuer of a certified birth certificate to include information about security freezes.  The bill passed the House on February 17 by a vote of 98-0 and was then referred to the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee.

Public Funds

Senate Bill 5265 concerns the ability for banks that are public depositories to arrange for reciprocal deposits of public funds.  The legislation does not apply to credit unions but is being monitored by the NWCUA. The bill would allow public funds to be deposited outside of the state if the following conditions are met:

  • The funds are initially deposited in a public depository located in the state;
  • The selected in-state depository arranges for the funds to be deposited in one or more federally insured banks or savings and loan associations;
  • The full amount of the principal and any accrued interest is insured by an agency of the federal government;
  • The in-state public depository will act as custodian with respect to the out-of-state deposits; and
  • On the same day the funds are deposited, the in-state public depository receives deposits from customers or other financial institutions in an amount equal to or greater than the amount of funds initially deposited by the state or local government.

SB 5265 passed the Senate on February 16 by a vote of 49-0 and was then referred to the House Business & Financial Services Committee.

A separate bill related to public funds, Senate Bill 6349, makes mostly technical changes to the public funds statutes and addresses letters of credit and investment deposits as collateral for public deposits.  That bill passed the Senate on February 16 by a vote of 49-0 and was then referred to the House Business & Financial Services Committee.

DFI agency request legislation

Securities – Senate Bill 6283 makes technical changes to the Securities Act of Washington.  The bill passed the Senate on February 15 by a vote of 47-0 with 2 excused and was then referred to the House Business & Financial Services Committee.

Marijuana Banking

House Bill 2584 and Senate Bill 6207 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 this would not impede a financial institution banking marijuana businesses from accessing information required for the ongoing monitoring of these accounts.  HB 2584 passed the House on February 15 by a vote of 89-8 and was then referred to the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee.  SB 6207 passed the Senate on February 15 by a vote of 42-6 with 1 excused and was then referred to the House Commerce & Gaming Committee. The NWCUA is monitoring this legislation to ensure that credit unions maintain their ability to provide financial services to legal marijuana businesses.

Foreclosure

NWCUA-backed House Bill 2876 addresses the foreclosure of deeds of trust.  The bill amends and ‘right-sizes’ the Foreclosure Fairness Act (FFA) now that foreclosure rates have returned to pre-recession levels.  The bill passed the House on February 16 by a vote of 97-0 with 1 excused and was then referred to the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee.

Biometric Identifiers

House Bill 1094 concerning biometric identifiers would prohibit a person from capturing a biometric identifier of an individual for a commercial purpose unless the person informs the individual before capturing the biometric identifier and receives consent.  Section 4 of the bill exempts financial institutions that are subject to title V of the Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA), which includes credit unions.  The bill passed the House on February 15 by a vote of 87-10 and was then referred to the Senate Law & Justice Committee. This legislation is being monitored by the NWCUA to ensure the exemption is maintained for credit unions.

The following bills that your Association had been reporting on failed to meet the house of origin cutoff and are now considered dead:

  • HB 2505 – Concerning payroll cards
  • HB 2899 and SB 5069 – Making the unlawful possession of instruments of financial fraud a crime (skimming bill)
  • HB 2662 – Creating the Washington next generation educational savings account program

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

Posted in NWCUA.