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Growing List of Honorary Chairs for  CU Cherry Blossom Run  

While the focus for credit unions this week is on Washington, D.C. and CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference, there are developments to share as the Maryland General Assembly begins the second half of its 90-day session. 

The Association testified on Thursday before a Senate Committee on the Maryland Consumer Protection Act (SB1068). While we support the bill, we want to see legislation that holds the source of data breaches accountable. The Association has been asked by the committee to join a work group that will develop amendments to the bill.  Please see more details below. 

In the District, the members of our Advocacy Team continue to meet with council members and staff to discuss issues affecting credit unions. 

The Association, in partnership with Kaufman & Canoles, P.C., hosted a webinar last week on employment laws impacting Maryland and D.C. credit unions. Updates were also provided on the following issues: Remote Deposit Capture fees, ADA compliance lawsuits, Sen. Hatch's letter and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If you missed it, you can view the recorded webinar here.

Here's the political roundup:
  • Gov. Larry Hogan made it official last week, filing candidacy forms in Annapolis to run for a second term with Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford.
  • At a candidate forum in Baltimore over the weekend, seven contenders for the Democratic nomination for governor pledged their unwavering support for the winner of the June 26 primary.
  • Bills in both the House and the Senate would put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to let voters decide whether to legalize marijuana with a system of regulated sales and taxation. 
We look forward to Hike the Hill tomorrow with Maryland and D.C. credit unions. The goal is to be informative and impactful as we share the credit union difference with members of our Congressional delegation. 

Have a wonderful week.

John Bratsakis
District of Columbia Legislative Update

Universal Paid Leave
D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson has dropped efforts to modify the Universal Paid Leave Act. Proposed bills would have eased the tax burden on businesses and avoided the creation of a new District bureaucracy to oversee the benefits. The Paid Leave Act passed in December 2016 with strong support from Mendelson and opposition from Mayor Muriel Bowser and the business community. A 0.62 percent employer-paid payroll tax funds the paid leave program which offers eight weeks of paid time off for new parents, six weeks to care for an ill relative and two weeks of personal sick time to workers in D.C.
The Department of Employment Services, which oversees the paid leave program,  released a report earlier this month outlining a timeline for paying out benefits by 2020.
Maryland General Assembly Update

HB1634 | SB1068 Financial Consumer Protection Act of 2018
Providing that certain loans are void and unenforceable under certain circumstances; prohibiting a consumer reporting agency from charging a fee for any service relating to a security freeze; requiring the Governor to appropriate certain amounts in the annual State budget for the Commissioner of Financial Regulation and the Office of the Attorney General; prohibiting a person from engaging in student education loan servicing unless the person is licensed by the Commissioner or is exempt from licensing; etc.
Position: MD|DC Credit Union Association CEO John Bratsakis testified before the Senate Finance Committee on Friday, February 22 in support of the bill -- if amended to address cybersecurity breaches.  The legislation, while well-meaning, does not address the significant financial burden placed on credit unions when a merchant, transaction processor or other group has its financial transaction system or its consumer data breached. MD|DC CUA president/CEO John Bratsakis has been asked by the committee to join a work group to develop possible amendments to the bill. 
HB0664 | SB0543 Labor and Employment - Payment of the Minimum Wage Required (Fight for Fifteen)
Specifying the State minimum wage rate that is in effect for certain time periods; increasing, except under certain circumstances, the State minimum wage rate based on the annual growth in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan area; specifying the tip credit amount that is in effect for certain time periods; prohibiting an employer, beginning July 1, 2026, from including the tip credit amount as part of the wage of certain employees; etc.
Position: Monitoring -Hearing Feb. 27 at 1:00 p.m. -Economic Matters Comittee