One of the benefits of your credit union’s League membership is access to Advocacy in Action, which offers information about how we are advocating for credit union interests. You’ll receive this enewsletter regularly when the Indiana General Assembly is in session along with timely updates at other times during the year. Since it is a benefit for League affiliates, links are password-protected. If you have questions or comments about content, contact us at (800) 285-5300, or email SVP Governmental Affairs Chris Beaumont or League President John McKenzie.
The League had another active week advocating on behalf of credit unions at the Indiana Statehouse. We engaged on a variety of issues during a week that saw a flurry of committee hearings and growing floor calendars in the House and Senate, as the first set of deadlines comes into view.
In the House last week, HB 1090, which would clarify a conflict within Indiana’s unclaimed property laws related to when an automatically renewing CD should be considered as abandoned/unclaimed, passed 95-0 and moves on to the Senate. Its companion bill, SB 376, is up for a full Senate vote and should pass this week. Also passing last week was HB 1397, the Department of Financial Institutions’ bill that would help the DFI create an expedited branching process, make a few minor changes to the State Credit Union Act and codify permitted “additional charges” under the Uniform Consumer Credit Code (UCCC) that have previously been permitted by DFI policy (like skip-a-pay and expedited payment fees). HB 1397 also passed by a vote of 95-0.
The League continues to work on legislation that would make improvements to Indiana’s Uniform Consumer Credit Code (UCCC), however the politics surrounding this legislation have become difficult because it has been intermingled with other issues including the unrelated payday lending debates. During a short legislative session, it is very difficult to fully explain complex issues or control how they are perceived. Consumer advocacy groups have successfully fought off payday lending expansion during the last two legislative sessions and were preparing to fight again this year. These groups also have taken aim at a bill (SB 416), which contains language to change some aspects of the UCCC for both credit unions and other types of state-licensed lenders. The consumer groups’ primary concern is with provisions in the bill being sought by finance companies. The League’s current position on this bill is neutral given that it entails more issues and trade-offs than just what pertains to credit unions. In the meantime, the payday lending industry was successful in advancing HB 1319 out of the House Financial Institutions Committee by a vote of 8-5. HB 1319 would expand payday lenders’ authority allowing them to offer short-term installment loans with terms up to 12 months and loan amounts up to $1,500 with very high fees. The League has maintained its historical position of being neutral on payday lending legislation.
This week, the League will testify in support of Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s legislation to create a framework for allowing electronic and remote notarization (SB 372) and will continue watching developments in the UCCC and payday lending discussions.
The first set of legislative deadlines come this week with the committee report deadline in the House on Tuesday and in the Senate on Thursday. This means that any bills not passed out of committees by those dates are dead for this year’s session. The good news for credit unions is that most bills we want to see moving are moving, and several that we did not want to see move are not likely to get hearings before this week ends.
At the state-level, League staff annually reviews more than 1,000 introduced bills, identifying dozens each year that could impact both state-chartered and federal credit unions.
Register today for Feb. 12 Legislative Affairs Forum
Don't miss your chance to hear about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for credit unions and to interact with your state legislators. The League's Legislative Affairs Forum and the State Legislator Reception are happening in Indianapolis on Feb. 12.