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NCUA Chair to Speak at Association's Advocacy Lunch During GAC 
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Hike the Hill Feb. 28  

There is a lot of ground to cover in today's Legislative Update as the  Maryland General Assembly hits the halfway mark of the 90 session with more than 3,000 bills under consideration.

The Association testified on Friday in front of a House Committee on the Maryland Consumer Protection Act (HB1634). While we support the bill, we would like to see it amended to address the financial burdens facing credit unions when data breaches occur. Please see more details below. 

The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation has released a 10-page document of FAQs about the paid leave law. You can view it hereMaryland's Healthy Working Families Act took effect February 11, 2018 after efforts to delay implementation failed.

In the District, the members of our Advocacy Team continue to meet with council members and staff to discuss issues affecting credit unions. DC  Council Chair Phil Mendelson  has abandoned efforts to address business community concerns by amending the Universal Paid Leave Act. 

The Association, in partnership with Kaufman & Canoles, P.C., is hosting a webinar on employment law impacting Maryland and DC credit unions on Wednesday, February 21 from 10-11:30 a.m. You can register here

Here's the political roundup:
  • In the latest Goucher College poll, 61 percent of Marylanders said they approved of the job Larry Hogan is doing as governor; 18% disapproved, and 19% said they did not know. But he has just a 47 percent to 43 percent lead against an unnamed challenger, suggesting negative views of President Trump could impact the election.
  • Four out of the five Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Maryland, who have announced their running mates, have chosen women to join their ticket. Maryland has no women in Congress or in top statewide positions.
CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference starts this Sunday. The Association is hosting two events in conjunction with GAC that anyone can attend. NCUA Chairman J. Mark McWatters will be speaking at the Association's Annual Advocacy Luncheon on Tuesday, February 27 at Bobby Van's Grill on New York Avenue. On Wednesday, February 28, please join us for Hike the Hill for your opportunity to speak directly with members of the Maryland and DC Congressional delegation. Registration details are in the column to the left.

I hope to see you next week at the Advocacy Luncheon and Hike the Hill! Remember you don't have to be registered for GAC to participate. 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.
Chairman Mendelson blamed failed negotiations for his decision to drop efforts to modify the law. Mendelson also said that he has not ruled out tweaking the law at some point.
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 House Economic Matters Committee on Friday, February 16 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. Credit unions, and other financial intuitions, bear the enormous cost of the fraud that is perpetrated as a result of these breaches. The bill does not address this issue nor does it provide a remedy to recover the actual costs credit unions have to absorb because of the fraud.