April 13, 2018
In this Issue:
House Passes Tax Bill Out of Committee
The Iowa House passed its tax reform bill yesterday afternoon out of the Ways and Means Committee on a party line vote. The bill does not include credit union or bank tax language. The next step in the process is for the entire House to debate and vote on the bill; we expect this to happen next week.
The Senate held a subcommittee meeting on the Governor’s bill yesterday as well - they plan to amend the Governor’s bill in the Senate with an updated version of the tax bill they passed in February. The credit union tax increase remains in this version. This bill is likely to come up in the Senate Ways and Means Committee next week. We will work to amend the tax increase out of the bill.
The House and Senate appear to be far apart in terms of finding agreement on tax reform, and each of them passing their own bills in the same timeframe would be an indication of that.
On another note, next week will be the last week of the forum. Our annual "Session Wrap Up" will be sent thirty days after adjournment with a full summary of the session and legislation of interest to credit unions. We will continue to keep you updated as needed on the tax issue.
Public Hearing on Tax Bill
The House Ways and Means Committee held a public hearing on the Governor's tax bill on Monday, April 9. Around 50 credit union advocates attended in green tshirts to show support for the bill, which did not include a tax increase for credit unions, and were the only organized group at the hearing.
Helen Pearce, CEO of Cedar Falls Community Credit Union, Joe Hearn, CEO of Dupaco Credit Union, and Joe Luedke with CUNA Mutual Group, were able to testify in front of the Committee on the importance of keeping a credit union tax increase out of the bill.
The hearing was covered by several media outlets. In case you missed any of these, here is a media roundup from the event:
Des Moines Register
Quad City Times
ABC Channel 5
Thank you to all who attended the hearing or left a public comment online.
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 there is no amendment passed on the House floor to raise taxes on credit unions and their members. Here's what you can do to help:
1. Send an Email to Your Representative
The Iowa House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee recently passed its tax reform bill (House File 2489). Thanks in part to your work, it does not increase taxes on Iowa credit unions. However, the banking lobby will continue efforts to get a tax increase added to the bill in an amendment when it goes to the full House of Representatives for a vote. We need your help to oppose any ta amendments.
We have made it easy to send your State Representative an email - simply click here to view, edit and send an electronic message.
2. Call Your Representative
Did you know you can call your Representative at the Capitol? You can reach them directly during the week between 9am and 5pm by calling 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: I am happy to see the House tax reform bill does not raise taxes on credit unions or their members. Credit unions save Iowans $100 million annually and help members keep more of their paycheck. Please oppose any amendments that would raise taxes on credit unions and members like me.
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. This is likely the last weekend of townhalls for many legislators.
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.
State Senate Special Election Results
The special election to fill Bill Dix's Senate seat was held Tuesday, April 10th. Republican Annette Sweeney defeated Democrat Tracy Freese for the seat. Sweeney is a former State Representative and most recently served as the USDA's State Rural Development Director. She will be sworn in next week and will serve the remainder of the legislative session.
Legislation of Interest to Credit Unions
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.
SF 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 to also include first-class mail, telephone, facsimile, secure internet connection, or secure electronic mail. Signed by the Governor on Tuesday.
HF 2480 / SF 2404 An act concerning manufactured homes by creating a manufactured housing program fund and providing eligibility under the home ownership assistance program for military members for the purchase of manufactured homes. Passed the House 96-0 on Monday and passed the Senate 41-7 on Wednesday. Now goes to the Governor.
HF 637 Deals with background checks for employees of the Iowa Credit Union Division. Passed the House 96-0 on Monday. Now goes to the Governor.
HF 2489 The House tax reform bill. Passed House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday.
HF 2485 An act requiring the licensure of small dollar installment loan businesses, and providing criminal and civil penalties. Placed on Ways and Means calendar.
Federal Policy Update from CUNA
After a two-week district work period, both houses of Congress were in session this week. The House is considering several financial services bills, including:
- H.R. 4293 - Stress Test Improvement Act of 2017,
- H.R. 4061 - Financial Stability Oversight Council Improvement Act of 2017, and
- H.R. 4790 - Volcker Rule Regulatory Harmonization Act.
The House is also expected to vote on H.J.Res. 2, proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
The Senate is considering a number of judicial and executive branch nominations.
Quarterly Federal Update
Click here to read our quarterly federal update, a review and highlight of Congressional work over the last few months.