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MD|DC LEGISLATIVE UPDATE January 23, 2018
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Register for 2018 Maryland Legislative Reception
Greetings,

While the federal government was shutdown, Maryland lawmakers were busy filing bills in Annapolis, with the count at now more than 670. The MD|DC Credit Union Association's Advocacy Team is closely monitoring nearly 50 bill that have the potential to impact credit unions. Several of those bills are highlighted below. We continue to work with legislators on a consumer data breach protection bill to increase accountability.

Here's Maryland's political roundup:
In the District, the government has launched a public awareness campaign to increase compliance with its commuter benefits law that took effect in 2016. See the article below to find out what your credit union needs to do to comply with the law.

I would also like to remind you to please register for the 2018 Maryland Legislative Reception on Tuesday, February 6 in Annapolis. It is an opportunity to connect directly with lawmakers and educate them on the issues impacting consumers and credit unions. Lawmakers in attendance typically seek out credit unions serving their communities, so it is important that credit unions are well-represented.

This year, we are pleased to announce some special guests to help kick-off the reception: Senate Finance Committee Chair Senator Thomas "Mac" Middleton, House Economic Matters Committee Chair Delegate Derek Davis, and Maryland Commissioner on Financial Regulation Antonio "Tony" Salazar have been invited to deliver remarks.

We look forward to working together in 2018!

John Bratsakis
President/CEO
 
District of Columbia Legislative Update

Commuter Benefits Law
The District government has launched a public awareness campaign about its Commuter Benefits law that took effect in 2016. Here's what your credit union needs to know: D.C. businesses with 20 or more employees must offer at least one of the following commuter benefit options to all full-time and part-time employees performing 50 percent of their work in the District:
  • Option 1: Employee paid, pre-tax benefit
  • Option 2: Employer paid, direct benefit up to $260/month. (This can be merged with the first option, employer and employee can contribute)
  • Option 3: Employer provided transportation (van pool or shuttle service)
Enrollment for commuter benefits must be open and available to covered employees throughout the year. Employers need to notify employees of the benefit, and provide information to covered employees about how to apply for and receive the benefit.
Due to a change in the federal tax code, commuter benefits are no longer tax deductible for companies, however, there are tax savings on FICA payroll taxes. See details in the SmartBenefitsĀ® program at www.wmata.com/smartbenefits .  

For more information about covered employers and employees, please contact the Department of Employment Services, Office of Wage-Hour at does.dc.gov, 202-671-1880 or OWH.ask@dc.gov.
Maryland General Assembly Update

HB0078 | SB0222  Foreclosed Property Registry - Updated Information - Notice to Local Governments
Requiring the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation to establish procedures that require a foreclosure purchaser to submit to the Foreclosed Property Registry any change to certain information within 21 days after the change is known to the purchaser; and requiring the Department to notify, by electronic means, on receipt of an initial registration or any change to certain information, authorized users from the county and the municipal corporation in which the property is located. 
Position: Monitoring to ensure it is more efficient than the current practice.
HB0187 | SB0006 Financial Institutions - Nondepository Special Fund - Expansion
Requiring certain revenue, fees, and examination and investigation fees and assessments relating to the licensure of collection agencies, consumer lenders, installment lenders, sales finance companies, mortgage lenders, check cashing services, and credit services businesses to be credited to the Nondepository Special Fund; altering the composition and the purpose of the Fund; etc.
Position: Monitoring and leaning toward supporting the bill as it allows the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, and other agencies, to transfer funds and fees to a special fund.
HB0279 Housing and Community Development - Homebuyer Education Requirements
Altering certain homebuyer education requirements for a loan recipient in the Down Payment and Settlement Expense Loan Program in the Department of Housing and Community Development; allowing a loan recipient to use the online homebuyer education for a HUD-approved product and contact a HUD-approved agency for a certificate; providing that certain provisions do not alter or preempt the authority of a political subdivision to establish homebuyer education or counseling requirements for down payment assistance; etc.
Position: Monitoring to ensure the bill is not onerous to credit unions.
SB0202 Consumer Protection - Credit Report Security Freezes - Notice and Fees
Prohibiting a consumer reporting agency from charging a fee for the placement of a security freeze requested by a consumer or a certain consumer representative under certain circumstances; prohibiting a consumer reporting agency from charging a fee for the temporary lift or removal of a security freeze that has been placed on the consumer's credit report; and altering the contents of a certain notice that must be included with a certain summary of rights provided to a consumer. 
Position: Monitoring -- the bill could create additional feeds to credit unions in reporting situations.