State Legislature Passes Key Blight and Card Skimming Measures (Misc News: December 12, 2013)
In the final hours of session in 2013, the state Legislature put the finishing touches on several measures of importance to the credit union industry.
House Bills 5050-5054, sponsored by Reps. Kurt Heise, R-Plymouth; Kevin Cotter, R-Mount Pleasant; Mike Callton, R-Nashville; Ellen Cogen Lipton,D-Huntington Woods, and John Kivela, D-Ishpeming, will harmonize and toughen criminal penalties for the crime of card skimming, and fix jurisdictional issues that can impede prosecution of the crime. HB 5050 also adds Michigan to the list of states that prohibit the sale or possession of devices that are designed or adapted to commit skimming. The bills passed both chambers unanimously, and should head to the governor’s desk shortly.
Last week, the Senate concurred on House amendments to Senate Bills 35-39, sponsored by Sens. Virgil Smith, D-Detroit; Bert Johnson, D-Highland Park; Tupac Hunter, D-Detroit; Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, and Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge. The bill package creates heightened criminal and civil fines and sanctions for accumulated “blight violations.” As originally drafted, the legislation would have negatively impacted credit unions and their officials, but an MCUL-drafted exemption was amended into the package to protect the industry from the new provisions. The bills have been presented to Gov. Rick Snyder. He is expected to sign them soon.
Coupled with victories on foreclosure reform, and the repeal of the unnecessary 90-day pre-foreclosure workout period in early summer, and amendments to the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, 2013 has been a productive year in the state Legislature for credit unions. Entering 2014, credit unions will be poised for success on a number of other topics, including reforms to the state’s Uniform Commercial Code penalties provisions, relief from homestead property tax on foreclosed properties, use of verified copies to replace lost documents in the property recording process, and electronic titling and lien release on motor vehicles and boats.
“MCUL & Affiliates is proud of the success that credit unions have been able to achieve in Lansing this year, which is a direct result of the active involvement and vigilance of our grassroots lobbying by our credit unions,” MCUL & Affiliates CEO David Adams said. "We look forward to building on this momentum and completing a strong legislative agenda in 2014 that is driven by the needs and ideas of our member institutions.”
For more information on these or other legislative topics, please contact the MCUL government affairs department.