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The 84th Texas Legislature Adjourns
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 7:00 AM

The Texas Legislature adjourned sine die on Monday, June 1. Sine die followed the 84th Legislature’s constitutional obligation to pass a budget, which amounted to $209 billion for the coming biennium. This is a 3.6 percent increase and keeps the budget under the mandated spending limits.

The session was very successful for Texas credit unions. The Texas Credit Union Association (TXCUA) tracked 312 bills of interest to credit unions. The successes are defined not only by the bills passed, but also the many bills that were defeated. 

“I’m very pleased with the accomplishments on behalf of credit unions this session," said Cornerstone Credit Union League President and CEO Dick Ensweiler. "We could not have succeeded without the tremendous grassroots support of Texas credit unions.”

There were three significant votes on the House floor concerning credit union issues this session, and House members supported credit unions on each occasion. Two were about keeping the Sunset review date for the Texas Credit Union Department (TCUD) in 2021. When the TXCUA learned of the attempts to change the date, first to 2017, then to 2019, Texas credit unions responded to the calls to action and asked their representatives to stand firmly with credit unions. The third time was to maintain an exemption for credit unions added by the Senate requiring changes to account opening procedures. Complying with these changes would have cost credit unions for reprogramming, reprinting forms, and additional disclosure documents with each account.

TXCUA also worked to defeat bills that would have relaxed notice requirements by vehicle storage facilities to owners and lienholders, and a bill that would have moved the credit union governance from the Finance Code to the Government Code, potentially risking TCUD’s Self-Directed, Semi-Independent status.

The TXCUA worked to pass bills that will create credit union and bank development districts to help establish credit unions and banks in underserved areas. The original bill was for banks only, and TXCUA worked with the author to include credit unions. Rep. Eric Johnson also carried a bill that will allow credit unions to offer prize-linked savings accounts. 

The House Investments and Financial Services committee considered a bill by Rep. Richard Raymond addressing the 3 percent cap on home equity loans, which TXCUA worked with him to file. While the bill did not pass, the committee and stakeholders are looking to study the issue in the interim.

Several data security bills were also filed with support from TXCUA. The bills did not pass due to strong opposition from retailers groups and technology organizations but did advance the discussion about the data security issue and the need for merchants to do more to protect sensitive card data.    

The governor has until June 21 to sign, veto, or let a bill become law without his signature.

There are many other bills the TXCUA worked on that will be helpful to credit unions. In the coming weeks, the League will provide credit unions with a 2015 Legislative Summary that will include an in-depth session analysis and news about bills signed or vetoed.

Contact Jeff Huffman, president, Texas Credit Union Association, at 469-385-6488 or for more information about the 2015 Texas session.