April 10, 2018
Connecting Credit Unions with Lawmakers in 2018

More than 100 credit unions leaders and lawmakers attended our legislative reception in February. Senate Finance Committee Chair Thomas "Mac" Middleton, House Economic Matters Chair Dereck Davis, and MD Commissioner on Financial Regulation Antonio Salazar delivered remarks to credit union executives.
Did You Know?

The Maryland General Assembly officially adjourned at midnight on Monday. Over 3,118 bills were introduced during the 90-day session. The Association's advocacy team focused on bills of high interest to credit unions, submitting comments and/or testifying on 12 bills, holding 28 meetings with legislative leaders and bill sponsors, and participating in two committee work groups to provide the credit union perspective on legislation under consideration. 

The Association supported bills that would have a positive impact on credit unions and their members, while successfully working to defeat legislation that had the potential to harm to credit unions. 

Financial Consumer Protection Act
An omnibus consumer protection bill, based on recommendations from the Maryland Financial Consumer Protection Commission, was approved and  includes provisions related to consumer lending and student loans. The General Assembly created the Commission last year to assess the potential impact of changes to the Dodd-Frank Act and other federal laws and policies. The Association worked with the Governor's Office to appoint a credit union representative to the Commission. Despite objections from the credit union member of the Commission and the Association, the bill originally submitted addressed issues beyond the Commission's stated scope. The Association met multiple times with the lead sponsors of the bill in the House and Senate, testified at multiple hearings and offered amendments to support credit union interests. We worked to modify the bill to ensure the credit union perspective was considered and represented. We were successful in removing language extending the fiduciary rule and establishing a uniform standard for arbitration. These issues will be studied further by the Commission, which has also agreed to study the impact to financial institutions and consumers when consumers' personal information is breached.
Exemption from Wage Attachments
A bill that would have increased the amount of a debtor's wages exempt from attachment was actively opposed by the Association and did not pass.
Labor & Employment
Several labor and employment bills that would have been burdensome to credit unions that did not pass include: raising the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour, requiring employers to remove the criminal record check box on hiring applications, and prohibiting employers from using salary history in the hiring process.
Maryland lawmakers are headed home, but the Association will continue to engage with legislators and keep you informed on issues impacting credit unions and developments with the state's Consumer Financial Protection Commission.
For a comprehensive list of the bills we closely monitored during the legislative session and the action taken on those bills by lawmakers, click here.

John Bratsakis