RI Advocacy Committee Prepares for Upcoming State and Federal Legislative Sessions
The Rhode Island Advocacy Committee met yesterday to discuss a diverse agenda of state, federal, and grassroots activities. Association President/CEO Paul Gentile welcomed attendees and introduced special guest presenter Retained Lobbyist Richard Beretta, Jr. of Adler, Pollock & Sheehan, P.C., who delivered a state election overview and entertained a discussion on possible legislative initiatives. Issues for possible state legislative changes next session include the cap on loan participations, the required 45-day notice of intent to foreclose, and the state examination cycle. The Association will begin the due diligence necessary to advance legislative initiatives, including discussions with the Department of Business Regulation, as may be needed to prepare for the upcoming legislative session.
In other state advocacy efforts at the meeting, the Association confirmed its participation in the pending amicus brief relative to the unauthorized practice of law to secure the current practices of local credit unions in real estate closings. The costs of litigation, in its beginning stage for credit unions, will be shared amongst other financial service providers and the Association on behalf of its members.
Federal news was presented by Eli Joseph, Deputy Chief Advocacy Officer for Congressional Relations, and Monique Michel, Senior Director of Advocacy & Counsel, from the Credit Union National Association. Highlights of their update included an overview of the newly introduced data breach bill by Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO). The measure, H.R. 6743, the “Consumer Information Notification Requirement Act" as amended, modifies the Gramm-Leach-Bailey Act to direct the federal financial regulatory agencies to establish a federal standard for financial institutions regarding data security measures, as well as a notification system that responds to any breach or unauthorized access of customer information. In other action today, the House Financial Services Committee passed the bill by a vote of 32-20. The bill is narrow in scope and does not contain all of the Association's data breach standards but does set a benchmark for future congressional action. Nominees and the confirmation process were also discussed for positions with the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and the National Credit Union Administration Board (“NCUA”). The NCUA appointments are not complete and do not have a lot of momentum at present. The progress of risk-based capital, FASB credit loss proposal, Glass-Steagall reform, housing financial reform and tax reform were also reviewed by CUNA. At this time, there remains no threat to the credit union tax exemption.
President Gentile noted that the next NCUA Board meeting, Thursday, September 20, at 10:00 am, will address a proposed rule, Part 722, relative to real estate appraisals. Following the banking agencies’ action on April 2, 2018 to increase the threshold for which commercial real estate loans would be exempt from appraisal requirements, from $250,000 to $500,000, credit unions have been waiting for NCUA action to provide parity for the industry.
Advocacy Committee members also discussed a variety of grassroots activities planned for the upcoming annual meeting and fundraising and next year.
The Association's Advocacy Committee is open to any member interested in lending a voice to help shape the local and national credit union advocacy platform. While a consistent advocacy front is important, attendance at every committee meeting is not mandatory. If credit union CEOs, staff or directors are interested in attending upon review of any meeting agenda, then membership is welcome.
Key upcoming advocacy and grassroots activity dates include:
Annual Meeting, Convention and Trade Show
October 10-12, 2018, Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino, Uncasville, CT
2019 Rhode Island Governmental Affairs Day
January 16, 2019, State House, Governor’s State Room, Providence, RI
2019 CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference
March 10-13, 2019, Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC