The Alabama Legislature continues its work for the 2018 session and this week will be no different. In fact, it will be a busy week for the House of Representatives as they plan on having the Education Trust Fund on the floor beginning tomorrow. While there will be little drama, lengthy debate is expected and members will be able to offer amendments that will affect their districts. The Senate is scheduled to take up the General Fund next week, but rumors around the statehouse have General Fund Chairman Trip Pittman holding it for as long as he can and is putting that schedule in jeopardy. As one person said in the hallways, this is Sen. Pittman’s last year in the legislature and once he lets the budget out of committee, his influence drops dramatically. This may in fact be the senator’s motivation, but only time will tell.
As far as last week, there was finally a little movement on the LSCU supported legislation to impose 30 day terms on payday loans in Alabama, SB 138 by Sen. Arthur Orr. A public hearing was held in the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee and while these hearings are ultimately a formality, it does place the bill one step closer to receiving a committee vote. Jason Cochran, LSCU Senior Director of Governmental Affairs, testified in favor of the bill on behalf on Alabama’s credit unions. The one interesting development after the committee meeting was that Chairman Slade Blackwell qualified to run for Governor, a surprising move to everyone. How this affects his view on the legislation or his planned committee scheduling for the remainder of the session is a bit of an unknown at this point. As always, a copy of the bill can be found here and we encourage all credit unions to contact their Senators and ask them to support SB 138. As of today, neither the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee or the House Financial Services Committee is scheduled to meet this week, but that could change.
Finally, the LSCU Advocacy Team would like to thank all of the credit unions, their CEOs, and staff that came to Montgomery last week for another successful Alabama Advocacy Conference. Once again there were over 50 credit union representatives in town and your support is always appreciated and needed in Montgomery.
Be on the lookout next week for a session wrap up and please do not hesitate to reach out to any Advocacy Team member if you have questions or would like more information on any legislative issues.