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 have been presented to the Governor. He is expected to sign them soon.
The Senate concurred in 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 drafted, the legislation would have negatively implicated 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 were presented to the Governor and signed on December 19, 2013. These bills are now Public Act 188, 189, 190, 191, and 192, and will go into effect 90 days from the end of session.
Senate Bill 434, sponsored by Sen. Jones, R-Grand Ledge, bans Bridge Card holders from using the cards to withdraw cash benefits at automatic teller machines (ATM) in the following locations: casinos, liquor stores and adult entertainment establishments. Remaining bills in the package require the same of banks, and savings banks. The bill was signed by the governor on Dec. 19. Senate Bill 434 is now Public Act 193, and will go into effect Feb. 1, 2014.
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 that should benefit the political efforts of the credit union industry that have now passed and await signature, 2013 has been an extremely productive year in the state legislature for credit unions. Entering 2014, legislation 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.
For more information on these or other legislative topics, contact the MCUL Government Affairs Department or click here.