First Week in Dakota Legislatures Score Some Victories for Credit Unions
Credit Unions scored some early victories in the first week of the North Dakota Session.
If the amount of legislative work completed in the first week of the 63rd North Dakota Session means anything, it could be an indicator that this will be a very busy Legislative Session.
All told, there were 67 bills were introduced and hearings for each one. CUAD advocates testified on two bills, both on the Senate side.
SB 2064 – Government and Veteran Affairs Committee - A bill relating to the Bank of North Dakota residential Mortgage loan program.
This bill will amend and reenact section 6-09-44 of the North Dakota century code. The original bill was passed during the special session in 2011 and had an effective date through July 2013. The amendment will make the code permanent.
The bill states that the BND may establish a residential mortgage loan program under which the Bank may originate residential mortgages if private sector mortgage loan services are not reasonably available. Also, at minimum, an applicant must be referred to the Bank by a local financial institution. CUAD lead legislative Lobbyist Greg Tschider appeared before Senate Government and Veteran Affairs committee and provided an amendment that will ensure that credit unions were specifically included as “local financial institutions,” and that credit unions will be allowed to participate in the program.
SB 2058 – Political Sub-Divisions: At the request of the Board of University and School Lands, SB 2058 is a BILL for an Act to amend and reenact subsection 2 of section 47-30.1-30 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to contracting for in-state unclaimed property examinations. CUAD VP Advocacy and Awareness, Jeff Olson Testified before the committee, opposing the bill as it was presented. Olson articulated that the bill as it was presented was too vague and open ended and that financial institutions were already compliant and examinations by a third party vendor were not necessary. The credit unions lobbied for the committee to consider an amendment that stated “that the administrator may not contract for an examination done within the state sate without reasonable cause to believe that a person has failed to comply with this chapter.” The committee accepted the amendment.
South Dakota Legislative Update with Tim Dougherty, SD Lead Lobbyist
The first week of the 2013 South Dakota Legislative Session began on Tuesday, January 8. Governor Dennis Daugaard opened the 2013 Session with his State-of-the-State Address. The Governor talked about the state’s fiscal condition and noted that South Dakota, unlike some other states, has a budget surplus because the legislature cut spending and adopted conservative revenue estimates. The Governor cautioned the legislature about expanding existing programs or creating new programs because of uncertainties surrounding Congress’s efforts to reduce the federal budget deficit. A substantial portion of the state’s revenue comes from the federal government. Governor Daugaard also talked about his primary legislative initiative this session – The South Dakota Safety Improvement Act. This legislation is designed to modify certain criminal penalties and sentences with the goal of reducing the state’s comparatively large prison population.
During the first week of session, 63 bills were introduced in the house and 73 bills were introduced in the senate. Most of the bills were pre-filed state agency bills and summer study bills. House and senate committees will begin holding hearings on these bills next week.
Although the SD Constitution authorizes the legislature to meet 40 days each year, the legislature is scheduled to meet only 38 days this year, beginning January 8 and ending March 25. There are nine weeks of session. The legislature will meet 4 days per week (either Tuesday thru Friday or Monday thru Thursday) except during the final week of session when it will meet 5 days. The final day of regular session is March 8. The legislature will then recess for two weeks and return on March 25 to consider any vetoes.