Summary Of IBANYS' Government Relations Call Held January 26, 2018
January 29, 2018

IBANYS' Government Relations Committee held its first conference call meeting of 2018 on Friday, january 26. We heard a federal update from Alan Keller of ICBA, and a state update from IBANYS legislative counsel Bill Crowell. 

State Update

IBANYS Legislative Counsel Bill Crowell reported on  the Governor's proposed 2018-19 State Budget. He noted that a critical element of the budget -- that of taxes -- has yet to be determined. There will likely be a new approach proposed to address the problems caused by the new federal tax law's State and Local Taxes (SALT) deduction limitation, but the details (whether it will involve a payroll tax, charitable deductions) are still uncertain. The Governor's budget amendment period (21 days and 30 days after the initial proposal) will likely clarify his approach. Then, the negotiations with the Legislature will commence, leading up to the April 1 deadline for enacting the budget. At this stage, there are no signs banks will be specifically "targeted", with other industries seemingly more in the administration's sights. However, careful scrutiny will be needed as further details emerge.
  • Bill noted the proposed budget calls for a $1.4 milllion increase from the previous year, primarily to cover costs in IT updates and salary. As a result, bank assessments would increase accordingly, with a preliminary ballpark estimate of approximately 5 percent.
  • Article 7 legidlation in the Budget proposal includes only one provision that could potentially impact banks (compared to last year, when as many as eight provisions in his initial budget would have done so.) This year, the only one involves student loans, specifically the DFS licensing and regulating student loan industry and student debt consultants. However, Bill stated he believes banks may well be excepted from this provision. As was the case last year, the Committee voiced no concern over this provision.
On non-budget issues 
  • Bill reported that the legislation that IBANYS played a large part in drafting -- and which would establish that banks with less than $1 billion in assets that have received at least a satisfactory CRA rating from their federal CRA exams, would be exempted from a State DFS CRA exam. The legislation has passed the Senate the past three years; IBANYS is seeking sponsors and support in the Assembly.
  • The Senate Banks Committee also met and reported legislation that would establish bank robery as a Class C Felony, and another bill that would require public posting in banks of the DFS Consumer hotline. One other bill would require a DFS website presence on Home Equity conversion -- specifically, addressing the matter of reverse mortgages -- for consumers to review. 
  • Bill also noted two bills were presented to the Governor. He signed both, but with a contingency that they be amended. One was to create a Task Force on Online Lending, whicjh was to report by April 15, 2018. The new amended version, expected to pass both chambers, would instead call for a study by DFS to be released by July 1, 2018. The second bill involves pension loan advancements, with the amended version (also expected to pass both houses) eliminating the requirement that public hearings be held, and would require a report by DFS by January 1, 2019.
  • Lastly, Bill reported on IBANYS' opposition to the State Department of Labor's "predictive scheduling" proposal, which could require employers to schedule employees 14 days in advance, and pay employees for an extra four hours if changes are made. It would also require they be paid an additional two hours if employees are called in unscheduled. 
Federal Update

ICBA's Alan Keller  reported that the primary focus at this point is support of the bipartisan Senate regulatory relief bill (S.2155). It was reported by the Banking Committee, and ICBA is hoping it can pass the full Senate without amendments or changes, perhaps by late February or during March. IBANYS has signed onto a letter co-signed by all state ICBA affiliate associations supporting the bill. There is some concern the House could eventually seek to amend it, which could risk the bipartisan support the current Senate legislation enjoys.

Alan also reported the ICBA Capital Summit will be held April 8-11 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. (same venue as last year). One speaker already announced is Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who may well be in line to chair the Senate Banking Committee in 2019 if the Republicans retain control in the 2018 mid-term election.

IBANYS thanks all of our member institutions for their continued support of and participation in our government relations efforts. 

Stephen W. Rice
Director of Government Relations & Communications
Independent Bankers Association of New York State