The second week of legislative session was a busy one, with a record breaking number of bills on committee agendas last Thursday. While several committees saw more than 100 bills on their agendas, many of the controversial policy issues are still being avoided. In between committee meetings the League advocacy team met with lawmakers about LSCU priority legislation, specifically SB 1241 by Rep. Sam Killebrew (R – Winter Haven) and SB 892 by Sen. Rene Garcia (R – Hialeah). This proposed legislation will authorize a financial institution to pay to the surviving successor of a decedent depositor, without going through the probate process if the account does not exceed $10,000. The League advocacy team is working to get this bill on committee agendas as soon as possible.
Last Tuesday, the Senate Banking & Insurance committee passed SB 920 by Sen. Rob Bradley (R – Orange Park) on a 9-2 vote. The legislation would change regulatory requirements on the payday-lending industry, which consumer advocates criticize for creating debt traps for Floridians. The proposal is backed by Amscot and Advance America, who are looking to avoid the new CFPB small dollar loan rules by creating an installment payday loan that carries more than 200% interest on loans up to $1000 payable over 60 or 90 days. The House companion, HB 857 by Rep. Jamie Grant (R – Tampa) passed the House Insurance & Banking committee the next day unanimously. The League advocacy team opposed these bills in committee and will continue to advocate for the protection of consumers from payday and other predatory lenders.
On Thursday the League advocacy team appeared in committee to support HB by Rep. Shawn Harrison (R – Tampa) which would allow a data breach victim or a consumer wanting to protect themselves from fraud to freeze their credit report without paying a fee. Florida law currently allows credit report agencies to charge a fee of up to $10 to freeze credit reports, and data breach victims are required to submit paperwork to prove their identity is in jeopardy to avoid paying the fee. The bill now heads to the floor for a full vote. The Senate companion, SB 1302 by Sen. Jeff Brandes (R – St. Petersburg), is still awaiting its first committee hearing. This measure is a priority of Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam.
The League’s proposal to allow credit unions to accept public deposits has not been heard in committee yet, though the advocacy team continues to meet with lawmakers on the issue.
It’s still not too late to register for the Florida Advocacy Conference, scheduled for Jan. 30 – 31 in Tallahassee. Visit the LSCU events page for registration and conference information. This is an excellent opportunity to meet with your elected officials and advocate on behalf of your members and the credit union industry. The hotel cut-off date has passed so let us know if you need help securing a hotel room.
Help take LSCU’s advocacy efforts to the next level by running the Project Zip Code program for your credit union. Visit pzconline.com to get started. Use your CUNA login to register and select Florida Credit Union League when updating your credit union’s information.
If you have any questions please contact any member of your Advocacy Team:
Jared Ross, SVP of Association Services
Jennifer Martin, Senior Director of Governmental Affairs
Jordan Burroughs, Political Affairs Coordinator