Oregon’s Legislative Session Ends with a Win for Credit Unions

Passage of SB 1551 takes an important first step in addressing data breaches.

3/6/18

Picture of Oregon State Capitol buildingThe Oregon Legislature adjourned “sine die” on Saturday, February 3 just before 5pm.  That was 8 days before the constitutional mandated date of Feb. 11th.  The session, as planned, moved along on a very quick track.  Some of the major bills passed were in the areas of additional gun control related to domestic violence, prescription drug price transparency, fixes to the current budget, and a bill addressing the net neutrality issue.

As we have seen in the past, leadership in the House and Senate had a different perspective on the session.

“This session surprised me,” said Sen. Peter Courtney (D- 11), President of the Senate. “I was worried that we were over-committed, doing too much. But we just adjourned eight days before the constitutional deadline. We passed significant legislation, most with bipartisan support. I don’t think there are many legislatures in the nation who can accomplish so much in 28 days. That is remarkable in a time when Congress and many legislative bodies are fighting and breaking down.   I am very pleased I got to serve in the 2018 Legislative Session.”

Senate Minority Leader Jackie Winters (R -10) and House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-55) issued the following joint statement regarding the 2018 Legislative Short Session:

“The short session is broken. Oregonians sent us here to adjust budgets, make minor policy tweaks, and respond to emergencies. Instead, the majority party introduced significant partisan policy changes that were impossible to properly vet in such a short amount of time. While thankfully many of these bills failed to make it to the Governor’s desk, it’s hard to escape the reality that the short session is increasingly becoming more about political posturing than good policy making. Oregonians deserve better.”

Pamela Leavitt, Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) Policy Advisor for Oregon State Advocacy and Grassroots, thanked Oregon credit union advocates for their tenacious support throughout the 2018 Legislative Session.

“We had a very successful Credit Union Luncheon at the Capitol event,” said Leavitt. “It’s important we continue to unite and show the Oregon Legislature the power of our collective credit union voices.”

SB 1551: A Win for Credit Unions

“We had a big victory in moving forward a legislative discussion on data breach and the need to better protect our members’ sensitive information,” said Leavitt. “Passage of SB 1551 and the required consumer notification of a breach was an important first step to further discussions on this issue.”

SB 1551 is a consumer protection bill in direct response to last fall’s Equifax data breach that compromised the private information of more than 145 million Americans.  Under Senate Bill 1551, consumers will be able to place a credit freeze with each credit reporting agency without cost, at any time for any reason. The removal of a freeze, or temporary lifting of a freeze, also is free. A credit freeze is considered one of the best ways to prevent further damage when identify theft is suspected. A credit freeze secures a vulnerable account and prevents anyone from establishing credit on the frozen account.

Consumers will receive notice of breach no more than 45 days after it is discovered, unless it takes longer to investigate and stabilize the system.  Companies that offer free credit monitoring services, or other services to mitigate damage done by data breach, may not ask for a consumer’s payment information when offering the free services. If those companies opt to offer additional services to consumers for a fee, the offer must be clear, separate and distinct from the free services, giving consumers an opportunity to decide whether additional for-free services are necessary without fear of losing out on free credit monitoring services.

Your Association testified in support of the ill, which passed and is awaiting Governor Kate Brown’s signature.

Other legislation of interest to credit unions which passed and awaits the Governor’s signature includes:

  • House Bill 4007 (recording fee bill) – This legislation will allow an individual to create a first-time home buyer savings account within a financial institution to pay for or reimburse eligible costs to purchase a single-family residence. It allows subtraction from federal taxable income, the amount equal to funds contributed to an account holder’s first-time home buyer savings account. The bill also increases the document recording fee for certain real property documents from $20 to $60 to be used for housing-related programs at the Housing and Community Services Department. The new law changes the income definition for the Home Ownership Assistance Account to income not more than 100 percent of median family income.
  • Senate Bill 1516 (small business loan fund) – This bill establishes a Small Business Expansion Loan Fund to be managed by Business Oregon. The state counts on small business innovation to build local economies, and the revolving loan fund established in the bill will best enable Business Oregon to continue supporting the growth of early-stage businesses in our state.

Legislation that died in the committee process includes:

  • House Bill 4091 (State Cash Account) – This legislation would have established the Oregon Cash Depository Corporation (OCDC) to collect marijuana cash accounts. It proposed to set up the OCDC as an independent public corporation. The bill proposed that the OCDC lease or acquire real property and construct or renovate offices, facilities, and business locations throughout state at which it receives, handles, stores, and dispenses cash and other valuable property.  It also would have established an Oregon Cash Depository Corporation Fund in the State Treasury and proposed to require the OCDC to deposit all money it receives into that fund.
  • Senate Bill 1556 – This bill was backed by Oregon bankers. It proposed to prohibit counties from bringing action or claims against a person based upon specific information within a trust deed making the nominee or agent of the lender the grantee or beneficiary, or upon the county’s recording or indexing of such instruments. The bill sought to prohibit counties from bringing actions or claims against a person based upon the person obtaining or transferring an interest in a trust deed that is not recorded with the county. SB 1556 would have maintained the rights of borrowers under the Oregon Trust Deeds Act and would have prohibited county clerks from charging or collecting fees for transfer of interest in trust deeds that are not recorded.