April 9, 2014
Wednesday Edition
Governor signs AL Credit Union Act Update into law

Over the past couple of years the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, affiliated credit unions, and the Alabama Credit Union Administration have been collaborating on legislation that will update the Alabama Credit Union Act. During this year's legislative session, bills were introduced in each chamber to accomplish that goal. HB 165 was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Greg Wren (R-Montgomery) and SB 212 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Slade Blackwell (R-Mountain Brook). HB 165 passed both chambers of the legislature. The bill was transmitted to Gov. Robert Bentley on April 1, triggering the 10-day period for the governor to sign or veto the bill. 

Monday night, Gov. Bentley signed HB 165, the update to the Alabama Credit Union Act, into law as Act No. 2014-317. This legislation will allow Alabama credit unions to operate more efficiently and effectively in today's ever changing regulatory environment. The legislation is effective May 1, 2014 and a signed copy will become available on the Secretary of State's website on April 8. The Alabama Credit Union Association is currently working with the governor's office to schedule a bill signing ceremony. Once a ceremony has been scheduled, the League's GA team will let credit unions know the date and location.

As with all of the League's successes, this legislative victory could not have been possible without the efforts of its affiliated credit unions. Thank you for all of your calls, emails, and grassroots efforts. The League looks forward to sharing many more successes in future sessions.

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NCUA testifies supplemental capital could be considered as part of RBC plan

The National Credit Union Administration could consider allowing credit unions greater access to supplemental capital as it finalizes proposed risk-based capital regulations, NCUA General Counsel Mike McKenna said Tuesday morning.

McKenna made his remarks in response to a question during today's ongoing House Financial Services Committee hearing entitled "Who's In Your Wallet: Examining How Washington Red Tape Impairs Economic Freedom."

California Reps. Ed Royce (R) and Brad Sherman (D) each had questions about the RBC proposal for McKenna.

Royce told McKenna he is concerned that the risk weights applied to mortgages under the RBC proposal do not reflect actual risk and are more stringent then the standards imposed on community banks despite credit union generally better delinquency rates. 

Royce also questioned whether the RBC rule could prevent some credit unions from making loans to their members.
 
Both Royce and Sherman asked McKenna why the risk weights in the NCUA proposal differ so much from those imposed in similar regulations placed on comment banks. McKenna noted that the agency has received many comments on risk weights and is looking them over and considering the issue.

The NCUA hopes to work with all stakeholders to make the final RBC rule more effective, McKenna said.

For the full story visit CUNA News Now.

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Alabama Credit Union Association legislative update

Legislative session ends abruptly
Since before the session began, Gov. Bentley has been calling on the legislature to pass a budget that fully funded PEEHIP, the health insurance plan for Alabama’s education employees, and provided a two percent cost of living adjustment for teachers. Bentley even went on record saying that if the budget came to him without a raise for teachers, he would amend the bill and send it back to the legislature. On the evening of the last day, the legislature sent a budget that funded PEEHIP, but did not include the two percent raise. However, Gov. Bentley never had the opportunity to amend the legislation because immediately after passage, both the Alabama House and Senate adjourned and the legislative session was over. This took many by surprise, because the Senate had just adopted a calendar with 35 bills to take up and they did not pass a single one. Many of these bills were important to state agencies, trade associations, and other interest groups around the state.

What is next for Governor Bentley is whether or not he will veto the entire Education Trust Fund and call a special session of the legislature during campaign season, sign the budget and call a special session solely to address a two percent raise for teachers, or simply sign the budget and forget about the raise.

Credit unions and the 2014 legislative session
Through all of the madness that is the Alabama Legislature, several pieces of legislation were passed that positively affect credit unions and how they operate in the state. First was HB 165, the legislation that updated the Alabama State Credit Union Act. This legislation made many changes to the state act and will help credit unions operate more efficiently. The bill was signed into law late Monday evening, is now Act No. 2013-317, and should be available on the Secretary of State’s website soon.

Another piece of legislation was SB 121 relating to patent trolling. This issue is one that has come to attention of many industries over the past few years and SB 121 was an excellent first step at addressing the growing problem of patent trolls. The legislation prohibits a person from asserting a patent claim in bad faith, allows the attorney general to investigate bad faith claims, and provides targets of patent trolling to file suit in civil court for damages.  This legislation was also signed into law by Gov. Bentley and can be found on the Secretary of State’s website as Act No. 2014-218.

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Florida Credit Union Association legislative update

Eisnaugle wins special election
Last night, former Republican State Representative Eric Eisnaugle won a special election to represent Florida House District 44, a seat formerly held by Steve Precourt. Eisnaugle received 74 percent of the vote, easily holding off Democrat Shaun Raja, who earned nearly 26 percent. The GA Team has met with Rep. Eisnaugle on several occasions and he is very friendly on our issues. The League looks forward to working with him during his second stint in Tallahassee.

Financial literacy as a high school graduation requirement
SB 212 by Sen. Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange) will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education Wednesday. This bill would require students, beginning in the ninth grade, to take half of a credit of financial literacy as a requirement to graduate. The Florida Credit Union Association and a broad coalition of financial institutions have been working with legislative leadership to promote the importance of financial literacy, including support for SB 212. A committee targeted action alert was sent out to all credit unions with members in the Senator's districts. If passed, the bill heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Security of Confidential Personal Information
Last week, SB 1524 by Sen. John Trasher (R- St. Augustine) was passed out of the Senate Rules Committee. This data breach bill would require a covered entity, including any corporation in Florida that collects any type of personal data, to notify the attorney general's office should a breach occur, as well as any individual whose information was compromised. The GA team and several other interested parties had spent several days meeting with the sponsors of the bill to address concerns with an amendment that had been added to this legislation. The League is pleased to announce that an amendment correcting these concerns was proposed and adopted in committee. One of the major concerns was language requiring financial institutions to notify the Attorney General's office every time a potential breach occurred. The concern was that credit unions would be forced to send hundreds of notices each day based on the bill's language. The new language allows financial institutions to copy the AG's office when a notification is made to their federal regulators. The bill now heads to the senate floor for a vote.

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In This Issue
Wednesday Edition
Governor signs AL Credit Union Act Update into law
NCUA testifies supplemental capital could be considered as part of RBC plan
Alabama Credit Union Association legislative update
Florida Credit Union Association legislative update
LSCU & Affiliates Media

Florida State GAC
The Florida State GAC wrap up video looks at the more than 30 lawmaker visits, topics discussed and the sessions over the two days including the regulator roundtable. NCUA Region III Director Myra Toeppe talks about her strategy in her first year. 

President's 1Q Video
LSCU president/CEO gives his first quarter video for 2014. He looks at the CUNA GAC, tax reform, and the new Southeast Credit Union Conference. He also talks about the 2014 Dues Rebate.

Upcoming Event Deadlines
TODAY Last Day to Register for Spring Regulatory Compliance Update - Birmingham, AL
Extended to April 22 Last Day for Early Bird Rate for OFAC & Bank Secrecy Act School – Birmingham, AL

Extended to April 22 Last Day for Early Bird Rate – Disaster Recovery Conference – Mobile, AL

Extended to April 24 Last Day for Early Bird Rate – Disaster Recovery Conference – Jacksonville, FL

Upcoming League Events
TODAY Compliance, Account Titling & Ownership
April 10 Spring Reg Compliance Update AL
April 15 Managing CUs' BYOD & COPE Policies
April 16 Official Demand for Member Funds
April 17 Examination Findings of the CFPB
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