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Texas Legislative Update for Week of April 3
Friday, April 7, 2017 6:55 AM

It was a super busy week for credit unions at the Capitol in Austin. Many bills were up for hearings in the House and Senate that will impact the operations of state and federal credit unions, some in a positive way and some will cause problems. Following is an update on some of the major bills.

SB 714. The Senate Business and Commerce Committee voted SB 714 out of committee Thursday. The bill would require state and federal credit unions to modify the new account forms and process if they offer payable-on-death features. If we are to slow the bill or get changes, credit unions will need to get their grassroots teams to call and email their senators asking them to vote "No" on SB 714.

Sen. Kel Seliger (R-District 31) has said banks and credit unions should have to follow the same process in the Estates Code, and is repealing the section that the Legislature adopted last session when this issue was debated, which exempted credit unions from the requirements that banks are now trying to roll back from themselves in SB 714. Credit unions will need to let senators know next week about their problem with these changes before the full senate votes on the bill.

Home Equity
It was a big week on the home equity front. Both HJR 99 and SJR 60 were heard in committee on Tuesday. The alliance of the Texas Credit Union Association, Texas Association of Realtors, Independent Bankers Association of Texas, Texas Bankers Association, Texas Mortgage Bankers Association, and the Farm Bureau are supporting the bills to update the home equity laws for the first time since 2003. Consumer groups and attorneys engaged in litigation relating to home equity loans testified in opposition to the bills. The Senate Business and Commerce Committee voted SJR 60 out favorably on Thursday, and the bill is expected to go to the floor next week.

Prize-Linked Savings Accounts
HJR 37 and SB 471 by Rep. Eric Johnson (D-District 100) were reported favorably this week from the House Investments and Financial Services Committee with amendments requested by the Texas Credit Union Association.

The TXCUA is working with Rep. Tom Oliverson (R-District 130) on changes to HB 1757 to address concerns about notice to lienholders when vehicles are impounded and allowing recovery of the collateral in a reasonable time. The original bill as filed would have required the lienholder to wait 60 days before being allowed to recover the collateral and would have to pay storage charges.

The TXCUA has also been working on the data security breach bills, HB 2333 and SB 1409 by Rep. Gary Elkins (R-District 135) and Sen. Jose Menendez (D-District 26). We are working to get hearings on both bills soon. The Retailers groups and others will be opposed.

There were several other bills up for hearings this week that address protecting against fraudulent use of credit and debit cards and public funds deposits for credit unions. There are several bills we are working relating to vehicle storage facilities and towing of vehicles that will impact credit unions as lienholders.

Next week is expected to be just as busy as the Legislature is in full swing. We appreciate Randy Theilig, president of Members Choice Credit Union coming by the Texas Credit Union Association office this week while he was in town to visit his lawmakers. We also appreciate Ron Fox, president of Fort Worth City Credit Union, who did a super job testifying before the Senate Business and Commerce Committee this week.

For more information, please contact Texas Credit Union Association President Jeff Huffman at 469-385-6488 or jhuffman@txcua.coop.