User login

Three Bills Supported by MCUA Sent to the Governor

Three significant pieces of legislation for Missouri's credit unions are now headed to the Governor's desk, after a very busy week at the Missouri State Capitol. The Missouri Credit Union Association's (MCUA) Advocacy staff worked with lawmakers and other groups in support of the bills listed below. Governor Jay Nixon (D) has 45 days to either sign, veto or allow the bills to become law without his signature.

Electronic Lien Release

HB 524 allows a lienholder to electronically release a lien, as long as the lien is on file with the Department of Revenue. It also requires the department to electronically confirm the receipt of the release. The bill passed 157-0 in the House and 33-0 in the Senate. It was sponsored by Rep. Tony Dugger (R-District 141) and carried in the Senate by Sen. Mike Cunningham (R-District 33). While the bill takes effect on August 28, 2015, it's anticipated the system won't be in place until 2017 due to funding issues. MCUA and other groups will work to help secure the necessary funding during the 2016 legislative session.

Clarifying an Overdraft Charge is a 'Fee' - Not 'Interest'

SB 524 clarifies that an overdraft charge on a deposit account is a fee and not interest. While federal law is clear, Missouri state law does not clearly delineate that overdraft charges are a fee, not interest. The bill is intended to bring parity between state chartered financial institutions and federally chartered financial institutions. Parity is important, particularly with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) set to provide rules and regulations on overdraft fees sometime this year.

SB 524 passed the Senate 34-0 and passed the House 144-1. Sen. Mike Cunningham (R-District 33) sponsored the bill and Rep. Noel Shull (R-District 16) handled it in the House.

Certain Auto Dealers Allowed 60 Days to Provide Title  

SB 456 has a number of provisions dealing with motor vehicles, the most significant being that it allows certain auto dealers to sell a used vehicle without a title. MCUA worked with the bill sponsor as well as with other groups to secure protections for the lienholder, including that the dealer is responsible for actual damages, plus court costs and attorney fees if the lienholder is damaged.

Additional stipulations in the bill require the dealer to provide the Department of Revenue with a surety bond not less than $100,000 and deliver the certificate of ownership within 60 days to the purchaser. The bill also extends the transfer of a license plate, as well as temporary permits, to 90 days if the dealer is selling the vehicle without the title. The Department of Revenue will also be able to refuse to issue or renew an auto dealer's license for repeated violations under this act.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Mike Kehoe (R-District 6) and carried in the House by Rep. T.J. Berry (R-District 38). It passed in the Senate 33-0 and 126-17 in the House.

Other Bills of Interest in Position to Pass

Additional bills of interest to credit unions are making their way through the legislative process. With only two weeks remaining - and the budget veto override looming - it's difficult to predict if the remaining bills will pass in the time remaining. Here is a brief overview of bills that haven't passed yet, but are close to the finish line:

  • HB 64 - Voted out of the Senate Financial Institutions Committee, must be assigned to the Senate Calendar.
    • Increases the amount a lender may charge on a loan for 30 days or longer that is other than a open-end-credit loan from $75 to $100. The bill is intended to give traditional lenders an incentive to provide small dollar loans and serve as an alternative to the payday loan industry. The fee was last increased in 2002. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Tony Dugger (R-District 141) and passed the House 114-43.
  • HB 254 - Voted out of Senate Judiciary Committee, must be assigned to the Senate Calendar.
    • Clarifies that stealing from a financial institution, including credit unions, is a class B felony offense. The impetus for this bill is two Missouri Supreme Court cases where a robber claimed since he did not use 'physical force' as defined under Missouri statute he should be found guilty of the lessor charge of stealing. Stealing is a class C felony offense, while robbery is a class B felony offense. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Sandy Crawford (R-District 129) and was voted out of the House 133-20.

Bills You Want to Know About

Click here for an overview of the bills with potential impact to credit unions. MCUA provides information each week, with regular updates as more bills are introduced and tracked.

Overview of the Week - April 27 - 30

The stalemate on the budget bills was finally broken last week, and the House and Senate moved back to perfecting and Third Reading bills. In an effort to move as many bills as possible, both chambers worked late nights on Tuesday and Wednesday. Committee hearing schedules were also busy with hearings on as many bills as possible.  

At this time of year, it's common for bills, which began with a focus on one issue, to return to a chamber having grown in size significantly with multiple issues added. Every bill tends to be a target for amendments, so this requires a lot of time reviewing the changes. Many of the changes or amendments can lead to bills being sent to conference, so problematic provisions can be removed or conferees can negotiate a compromise. 

The pace will only increase during these last two weeks of the session. The 2015 legislative session officially adjourns at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 15.