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Gov. Fallin Signs Affidavit of Heirship into Law; Updates
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 6:50 AM

Oklahoma Credit Union Association President Nate Webb announced that the OKCUA-supported Senate Bill 0064, the Affidavit of Heirship, was signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin Monday.

SB0064 increases the amount of funds held by a bank or credit union that may be transferred to the known heirs of a deceased person using an affidavit from $20,000 to $50,000. The bill resolves an inconsistency between Title 6 (Banking Code) and Title 58 (Probate Code), thus providing clarity to financial institutions.

In other news, Webb says deadlines have come and gone, and surviving bills are now being heard in the opposite legislative chamber. There, bills will die, go to the governor, or go back to the original chamber where amendments will either be accepted or rejected. Throughout the legislative session, any bill not receiving an up or down vote will go dormant and be eligible to be heard next session.

Last week, appropriations committees in each chamber began to focus more intensely on crafting a balanced budget, already a contentious process given the estimated $898 million budget deficit, Webb says. As always, rumors are starting to surface regarding progress on the budget, and they are about as accurate springtime weather in Oklahoma.

"This is also when things can get tricky," Webb says. "Bills assigned to an appropriations committee are not subject to the same deadlines as others and are still open to amendments. In fact, a bill was amended last week that would have had a very negative impact on Oklahoma credit unions."

SB0721 was amended in the House Appropriations Committee to include language allowing for so-called PACE loans in Oklahoma. If approved, mortgage liens will become subordinate to loans from private lenders, which make high-interest rate loans on solar panels, air conditioning units, and other energy-efficient appliances.

"We were able to catch this change of direction immediately and have obtained assurances from leadership that it will not advance," Webb says.

Following is Nate Webb's highlights for the past week of legislative activity.

Support – SB0064

Affidavit of heirship – creating consistency in conflicting titles of law.

Status: Signed by governor. Becomes effective 90 days after sine die (approximately Sept. 1)

Oppose – SB0698

A bill introduced by the Oklahoma Wreckers Association in another effort to loosen many provisions included in the Title 42 possessory lien processes.

Status:  Failed to receive hearing in House Judiciary and is therefore dormant.

Oppose – SB0721

Amended in House committee and, if passed, would place mortgage liens subordinate to those of companies selling energy efficient appliances to homeowners.

Status: Passed committee and is eligible to be heard by the full chamber. We have been assured by leadership that this bill will not advance.

Support – HB1915

Perfection of liens on expensive livestock trailers.

Status: This bill received serious opposition from the AG community as well as manufacturers in Oklahoma. The bill remains alive but will remain dormant for the remainder of the session. All parties have agreed to study the issue over the interim.

Guns:

We continue to work closely with a coalition comprised of businesses, law enforcement and higher education to defeat several bills introduced this year that could impact a credit union’s right to restrict firearms on their property.

Oppose – SB0288

If this bill were to become law, a business owner would be vulnerable to a lawsuit, should they attempt to prohibit firearms on their property.

Status: Heavily amended to our satisfaction and is eligible to be heard on the House floor. Although we do not oppose in its current form, this bill will require close monitoring.

Financial Literacy:

Support – HB1694

This bill modifies a provision of information to be included in the personal financial literacy education course taught in public schools. It requires the course to be taught during grades seven through 12 before the 2019-2020 school year and from grade nine to 12 thereafter.

Status: Concerns were raised about the funding source to implement the requirement. It is currently a work in progress, but the Senate author is optimistic an agreement will be reached.

As Webb has mentioned previously, this is the point in the session when vigilance is absolutely critical. With more than 55 bills still on our watch list and dozens of others open to hostile amendments, action on the part of credit unions could become critical to our success in the coming weeks.

If you have not done so already, Webb encourages you and your staff to sign up for our phone2Action grassroots activation program. This will allow you to receive timely action alerts on critical developments. To opt in, text credit1 to 52886.

For more information, please contact Oklahoma Credit Union Association Nate Webb at nwebb@okcua.coop or 405-445-1510.