March 30, 2018
In this Issue:
Tax Bill Waits Another Week
The House Ways and Means Committee did not release their amendment to the Governor's tax bill this week as anticipated. The Committee will likely wait to release the amendment until House leadership announces its budget targets for next year; this is expected to happen early next week. Once the amendment is released, the House Ways and Means Committee will hold a public hearing on the proposed tax bill - this is a great opportunity for credit union advocates to speak to the Committee about the negative impact of a tax increase. We will let advocates know when more information is available.
Your Help Needed! Ways to Stay Involved
Thank you to everyone who has called, emailed and visited with your legislators this session. We appreciate your hard work and dedication to advocating for credit unions. Though we've made good progress, the fight isn't over yet. We still need your help to ensure the House tax bill does not raise taxes on credit unions and their members. Here's what you can do to help:
1. Send an Email to Your Representative
As you know, a few weeks ago Senate Republicans passed their tax reform bill on a party line vote. This bad legislation raises taxes on 20 credit unions and 600,000 members in Iowa. The focus is now in the House, which is working off the Governor's tax plan (which does not include any changes to credit unions). Click here to contact your House member, ask them to reject the Senate plan and support tax reform that does not increase taxes on credit unions. Please share this link broadly with colleagues, members and other credit union supporters.
2. Call Ways and Means Committee Members
Although reaching out to every State Representative is important, those serving on the House Ways and Means Committee should be a focus. The Ways and Means Committee is currently looking at the Governor's tax reform bill and will likely be making changes before voting it out of committee. If one of these Representatives is your legislator, or if your credit union has a branch in that area please call them next week between 9am-5pm at the House switchboard number (515-281-3221). You'll need to ask for your Representative and will be able to leave a message if they aren't there.
The message is simple: The Senate tax reform bill raises taxes on 20 credit unions and over 600,000 Iowans, while providing banks an $18 million tax cut. Please oppose any tax increase on credit unions in the House bill. A tax increase on credit unions is a tax increase on Iowans.
Click here for a list of Iowa Ways and Means Committee Members
3. Attend a Townhall in Your Area
Every weekend during session, legislators host townhall meetings back home to provide a legislative update and listen to questions and concerns from constituents. These townhalls are a great opportunity to remind your Senator and Representative about the taxation issue and the positive impact credit unions have in your community.
Click here to find a townhall meeting in your area.
Use these talking points when talking to your Representative.
After the townhall, let us know how it went by filling out this form.
Legislation of Interest to Credit Unions
Despite a lack of movement on the House tax bill, several other bills of interest to credit unions progressed through the legislative process. Below is a list of bills that made progress this week. You can view the entire list of bills being tracked by ICUL’s lobby team at any time by going here.
House File 2232 This bill requires that, when a mortgage is paid off, notice be given by the mortgagee within 30 days of payment in full by executing a notice of satisfaction (under current law, there is no timeframe for the notice). New language is added, making clear that notice need not be filed if it secures a revolving line of credit. Signed by the Governor on Wednesday. Previously passed the Senate 49-0 and the House 98-0.
House File 2125 This bill amends the probate code to allow for the distribution of a decedent’s property by affidavit in estates as large as $50,000. Under current law, only property in estates that are under $25,000 may be distributed by affidavit. Signed by the Governor on Wednesday. Previously passed the Senate 47-0 and the House 98-0.
Senate File 2177 This bill prohibits consumer reporting agencies from charging a fee for placing, removing, temporarily suspending or reinstating a security freeze. The bill expands the methods currently permitted to request a security freeze from a consumer reporting agency (certified mail) to also include first-class mail, telephone, facsimile, secure internet connection, or secure electronic mail. The bill was passed by the Senate 49-0 and the House 100-0. It now moves to the Governor to sign into law.
House Study Bill 189 An act requiring the licensure of flexible credit lenders and providing criminal and civil penalties. Passed out of a Ways and Mean subcommittee and moves to the full Ways and Means Committee.
Senator Ernst Sends Thank You Letter
Senator Ernst sent a letter to the Iowa Credit Union League thanking advocates who met with her in Washington D.C. during GAC. Thank you again to everyone who attended the GAC and helped make our legislative visits a success. Click here to read the letter from Senator Ernst.
Federal Policy Update from CUNA
Congress out on Recess
Congress is out for two weeks to celebrate the Easter and Passover holidays and will return on April 10th. That means our Iowa congressional delegation will be back in the state for a couple of weeks. Senator Ernst is hosting a public forum in Sigourney on April 3rd, click here for event details. There are no other scheduled public meetings at this time.
After Congress passed the fiscal year 2018 omnibus bill on Thursday evening, President Trump signed the bill on Friday to avoid a government shutdown. The bill contains many wins for credit unions.
The bill includes funding for two key credit union priorities, the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund and NCUA's Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF).
The omnibus bill funds the CDFI Fund at $250 million, a $2 million increase from last year. The CDRLF receives $2 million, the same as last year.
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