Credit Union Act Update Passes Idaho Senate

In a breakneck-paced session, credit union-backed lienholder notification bill passes in the House, and the Senate confirms Patti Perkins as Director of the Department of Finance.

2/25/2020

The Idaho Senate unanimously voted to pass S.B. 1301, legislation updating the Credit Union Act, Monday, Feb. 24. The measure now moves to the House.

“The legislation is the result of collaboration by Idaho credit union leaders, who engaged with us through the State Issues Work Group and Governmental Affairs Committee, reviewing opportunities to modernize the Act,” said Ryan Fitzgerald, Northwest Credit Union Association Vice President, Legislative Affairs for Idaho. “A modern state charter creates an operating environment that allows credit unions to better serve their 1 million members on Main Street.”

 Specifically, S.B. 1301 proposes the following updates to modernize the Act:
  • Clarifies requirements and provides more flexibility for credit unions that acquire and hold fixed assets, while allowing the credit union to determine the best overall mixture of fixed assets that will meet the needs of the individual institution.
  • Reorganizes and updates the lending section to keep pace with modernized lending requirements and current market demands.
  • Modernizes and clarifies regulations for small credit unions who wish to work collaboratively with other credit unions in loan participations.
  • Provides clarification on loans to a single borrower to ensure aggregate amounts to that single borrower are not overly concentrated.
  • Updates and provides clarification on loan maturity limits to meet changes in the marketplace, while also updating requirements on loan appraisals for federally and privately insured credit unions.
  • Modernizes state-chartered credit union investment practices to align with the flexibility being offered to federally chartered credit unions that are regulated by the NCUA.
  • Provides some additional government-backed investment vehicles to diversify investment opportunities for state-chartered credit unions.

Meanwhile, H.B. 411, legislation requiring towing companies to notify financial institutions when a vehicle is towed, passed unanimously in the House and already has a “do pass” recommendation from the Senate Transportation Committee. If the bill passes, it could save lien-holding financial institutions thousands of dollars in impound fees.

In addition to guiding NWCUA-backed legislation, Fitzgerald and the NWCUA advocacy team are monitoring many proposed bills that could impact credit union operations. Some of those issues include financial exploitation of elders, elective financial education curriculum, wage garnishment, auto insurance, sick leave, first-time homebuyer programs, and workers’ compensation.

As expected, the Idaho Senate confirmed Patti Perkins as Director of the Department of Finance. Governor Brad Little selected Perkins late last year for the position, which has been held by Acting Director Mary Hughes since Gavin Gee retired in 2019.

Perkins brings extensive business and banking industry experience to the position.

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