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This Week at the Missouri Statehouse

The Missouri General Assembly continued its legislative work this week with both chambers dedicating a lot of committee time to the budget. The House cleared its Third Read Calendar (final approval/vote to pass the House) before heading home for the weekend and the Senate spent time working on ethics reform among a number of other legislative priorities.

Current lawmakers and candidate hopefuls descended on Jefferson City for the opening day of filing on February 23. Candidates may file for office through March 29. A list of all candidates  is available by clicking here.

Missouri Bills of Interest Moving Forward

Credit Union Account Verification Parity Bill Perfected in House

The credit union account verification parity bill (HB 1721) is one step closer to passing the Missouri House after being perfected by a voice vote February 24. Speaking in support of the bill during floor debate were bill sponsor Rep. Tony Dugger (R-District 141) and Reps. Sandy Crawford (R-District 129) and Mary Nichols (D-District 72). No member spoke against the bill. It's expected the House will take a final vote on the bill the week of February 29.

HB 1721 adopts the federal guidelines for credit union account verification requirements. The intent of the bill is to ensure parity between state and federally-chartered credit unions. Under current law, state-chartered credit unions are required to perform account verification every year. Federal law, on the other hand, requires account verification every two years.

Merchandising Practices Act Reform Bill Heard in Committee

A bill intended to reform the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA) was heard in the Senate Small Business/Insurance/Industry Committee February 23. The bill makes several changes to the MMPA, including limits to recoverable damages in class action claims and higher standards to prove damages in civil actions. SB 793 is sponsored by President Pro Tem Ron Richard (R-District 32). Missouri businesses, including credit unions, are experiencing an increase in MMPA lawsuits in recent years.

Despite the support of several groups, HCUA Advocacy does not expect SB 793 to move forward in 2016.

Criminal Expungement Bill Passes Committee with HCUA-Supported Amendment

A credit union-supported amendment to a criminal expungement bill was adopted by the Senate Judiciary Committee prior to the members voting the bill out February 25. The amendment protects credit unions and requires a person who has been granted expungement to alert the credit union whether he/she has ever been convicted of a crime. The original bill did not contain such stipulations and is necessary for credit unions to stay compliant with federal laws.

SB 588 is sponsored by Sen. Bob Dixon (R-District 30) and now heads to the Senate floor for debate by the full legislature.

TNC Bills Moving Forward

Two bills dealing with transportation network companies (TNC) are moving forward in the legislative process. HB 1563 is scheduled in the Senate Small Business/Insurance/Industry Committee on March 1, after passing the House 153-1. Another TNC bill, HB 2330, was voted out of the House Select General Laws Committee on February 24. Both bills contain credit union supported language that requires TNCs to notify prospective drivers that driving for a TNC may violate the terms of the loan agreement.

HB 1563 is sponsored by Rep. Elijah Haahr (R-District 134), and HB 2330 is sponsored by Rep. Kirk Mathews (R-District 110).

Rep. Fraker Replaces Gosen on House Banking Committee

On February 24, Missouri House leadership announced State Rep. Lyndall Fraker (R-District 137) was appointed to the House Banking Committee. Fraker replaces former Rep. Don Gosen, who resigned for personal reasons on February 17.

According to Project Zip Code, there are 6,028 credit union members in House District 137. These five credit unions have the highest member total within the district:  BluCurrent Credit Union, 1,135; CU Community Credit Union, 912; TelComm Credit Union, 833; Assemblies of God Credit Union, 658; and, Community Financial Credit Union, 598.

Missouri Legislative Bill Tracker - Week of February 29, 2016

Click here for a list of all the bills HCUA Advocacy is tracking. As more bills are introduced and reviewed this session, HCUA will add any legislation affecting credit unions.

Missouri Advocacy Meeting - March 7-8

You're invited to the Missouri Advocacy Meeting on March 7-8 in Jefferson City! You'll join credit union advocates from across the state in learning about state and federal legislative issues affecting credit unions and consumers. You'll also have the opportunity to meet with state legislators to discuss credit union issues and the credit union difference.   The cost is only $20 per person!

See the full agenda and register. For questions about the Missouri Advocacy Meeting, contact Amy McLard, 800.392.3074, ext. 1370.

Vocab Legislation: