Washington Legislature in Home Stretch

As the session began winding down last week legislators learned some very tragic news—banking lobbyist Brad Tower’s three children were killed in a fire at the their Centralia, Washington home. Both the House and Senate held moments of silence on Friday and a number of legislators shared their heartfelt condolences through floor speeches. 

Friday, March 4 was the cutoff date for bills to be considered in the opposite house.  Legislators’ work in these final days now focuses on initiatives, budgets, and negotiating differences between House and Senate passed bills.

A number of the bills tracked by the Northwest Credit Union Association passed out of their opposite chamber last week and are on their way to Governor Inslee to be signed into law.  Bills that are delivered to the governor more than five days before the Legislature adjourns have five days to be acted on. Bills that are delivered fewer than five days before the Legislature adjourns have 20 days to be acted on by the governor. 

Supplemental Budgets

State lawmakers continue to work behind the scenes to reach compromises on the supplemental operating, capital, and transportation budgets. There appears to have been good progress on the final versions of the capital and transportation budgets, but some differences on the operating budget remain between Republicans and Democrats around spending from the Budget Stabilization Account (rainy day fund) and raising taxes.

Public Funds

Senate Bill 5265 concerns the ability for banks that are public depositories to arrange for reciprocal deposits of public funds. The bill passed the House on March 2 by a vote of 97-0 with 1 excused and will now be sent to Governor Inslee to be signed into law.

Senate Bill 6349 concerning public funds and deposits, makes mostly technical changes to the public funds statutes and addresses collateral for public deposits. The bill passed the House on March 4 by a vote of 93-4 with 1 excused and will now be sent to Governor Inslee to be signed into law.

DFI Agency Request Legislation

Mortgage Lending Fraud – Senate Bill 6282 extends the expiration date of the Mortgage Lending Fraud Prosecution Account and the related surcharge ($1 at the recording of a deed of trust) until June 30, 2021.  The bill passed the House on March 1 by a vote of 97-0 with 1 excused and will now be sent to Governor Inslee to be signed into law.

Securities – Senate Bill 6283 makes technical changes to the Securities Act of Washington.  The bill passed the House on March 4 by a vote of 96-1 with 1 excused and will now be sent to Governor Inslee to be signed into law.

Marijuana Banking

House Bill 2584 makes 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.  The bill passed the Senate on March 3 by a vote of 43-4 with 2 excused and will now be sent to Governor Inslee to be signed into law.

Credit Report Freezes

House Bill 2859 concerns credit report security freezes for minors and incapacitated persons, permitting an authorized representative to request a credit report security freeze on behalf of a minor or an incapacitated person. The bill passed the Senate on March 1 by a vote of 48-0 with 1 excused and will now be sent to Governor Inslee to be signed into law.

Foreclosure

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 Senate on March 4 by a vote of 48-1 with 1 excused and will now be sent to Governor Inslee to be signed into law.

Power of Attorney

Senate Bill 5635 relates to enacting the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA). The bill repeals the Washington Power of Attorney Act in favor of the UPOAA, but with some differences from the UPOAA. The bill passed the House on March 3 by a vote of 96-0 with 2 excused and will now be sent to Governor Inslee to be signed into law.

Editor’s note: Next year’s long legislative session will present deeper opportunity for policy advancement. Credit union CEOs are asked to share their input with the NWCUA on charter enhancements and other legislative improvements at this time. The State Issued Working Groups will then recommend strategies which will be further reviewed by credit union leaders this summer

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

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