IBA E-News 2-17-17
STATE GOVERNMENT RELATIONS NEWS
FLD Day at the Statehouse
Register now and plan to attend the third annual Future Leadership Division Day at the Statehouse, set for March 7 in Indianapolis. The tentative agenda will include an introduction to lobbying, a review of the current issues facing the industry and lunch with a special guest speaker. After lunch, participants will walk to the Indiana Statehouse to see the legislative process in action. The remaining time will be spent observing floor sessions of the Indiana House and Senate, where attendees will have the opportunity to visit with their elected officials. For questions, please contact Josh Myers, 317-917-8047.
Indiana Legislative Session Update
The General Assembly is moving at a quick pace to meet next week’s committee report deadlines. The IBA GR Team continues to weigh in on numerous pieces of legislation affecting the industry. As the General Assembly approaches deadline week for bills in the first house, be ready for quick calls to action from your IBA GR Team!
HB 1107 – Electronic Signatures
Rep. Gregory Steuerwald, R-Danville
Bill summary: This bill provides that a person may create an electronic will and an electronic trust document if certain conditions are met, and provides that a power of attorney (including a living will and health care power of attorney) may be signed electronically and created or stored in an electronic format.
What happens next: The bill will be heard on Monday, Feb. 20, at 10 a.m. in the House Judiciary Committee.
HB 1511 – Liens on Towed Vehicles
Rep. Mike Braun, R-Jasper
Bill summary: This bill provides that a person who tows a vehicle at the request of a law enforcement officer has a mechanic's lien on the vehicle. HB 1511 also changes statutory notice provisions for mechanic’s liens on towed or abandoned vehicles in IC 9-22-6-2: If the person who holds the mechanic's lien has proof that the notice was mailed in accordance with subsection (e), actual receipt of the notice is not required
What happens next: The bill will be heard on Monday, Feb. 20, at 10 a.m. in the House Judiciary Committee. The IBA is working with the bill’s author to clarify the bill’s notice provisions for mechanic’s liens on abandoned vehicles.
SB 245 – Long Term Small Loans
Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle
Bill summary: The bill provides that a lender that is licensed by the Department of Financial Institutions to engage in small loans may enter into a transaction for a long-term small loan with a borrower. It defines a long-term small loan as a loan that: (1) is entered into by a licensed small loan lender and a borrower; (2) has a principal amount of at least $605 and not more than $2,500; and (3) is payable in installments over a term of not more than 24 months. The bill provides that, with respect to a long-term small loan, a lender may contract for and receive a monthly loan finance charge that: (1) does not exceed 20% of the principal; and (2) is earned by the lender on a daily basis using the simple interest method. The bill sets forth certain requirements and prohibitions with respect to long-term small loans.
What happens next: The bill was heard in the Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee on Feb. 16. The bill died by a vote of 4-5.
S&P Places Indiana School Debt on Creditwatch
S&P Global Ratings has signaled that it will downgrade Indiana's current AA+ rating on school corporation debt issuances due to a new interpretation of an existing statute regarding intercepts. This new interpretation of the state intercept statute suggests that the law’s construction leaves uncertainty as to whether intercept payments will always be made in a timely manner. The S&P notes that the state may alter this interpretation by either administrative rule or through a legislative change. The S&P has given the state 90 days to address the issue before the downgrade is issued.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RELATIONS NEWS
REMINDER: Urge Your House Members to Support the Repeal of the Durbin Amendment
Whether you have already participated in this action alert or not, please keep reminding our legislators to support the repeal of the Durbin Amendment. Those who have already submitted messages are encouraged to do so again. During the last Congress, the Chairman of the Financial Institutions Subcommittee successfully included an industry-advocated provision in the Financial CHOICE Act that would repeal the so-called "Durbin Amendment," but it was not considered on the House floor before Congress adjourned. In the coming weeks, Congress will again consider this legislation in this new term, and it is vitally important that the Durbin interchange amendment repeal language remains in the legislation. Bankers must actively engage members of Congress to urge them to support the repeal of the Durbin Amendment. Contact your member of Congress today to make your voice heard.
IBA Annual Washington Trip
Mark your calendars for Sept. 24-26, and join your Hoosier bankers as we make our voices heard in Washington, DC. The event is a key component to the IBA’s grassroots advocacy efforts, and your participation will be vital to its success. More information and registration are forthcoming.
CFPB Wins Rehearing of Court Ruling, in Setback to GOP Critics
A U.S. appeals court has set aside a key ruling against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to POLITICO Pro Financial Services, marking a victory for the agency’s independent director.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington on Thursday granted the bureau’s request to rehear the case, which was decided by a three-judge panel of the court in October. That ruling called the bureau’s structure constitutionally flawed and gave the White House authority to remove its director, Richard Cordray, for any reason.
Yesterday’s court order is a blow to the bureau’s critics, some of whom are urging President Donald Trump to oust Cordray.
Rounds Reintroduces Industry Supported Tailored Regulation Bill
Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) on Tuesday reintroduced the Senate version of the TAILOR Act (S. 366), which would require financial regulators to consider bank risk profiles and business models when taking regulatory actions.
In addition to requiring a tailored approach for future rulemakings, Rounds’ bill would require a review of regulations issued in the past seven years and a report on how they might be better tailored. Regulators would be required to state in notices of proposed rulemaking how they applied the TAILOR Act.
Senate Confirms Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary
The Senate voted to confirm Steven Mnuchin as the 77th Treasury secretary on Monday. Mnuchin, a hedge fund manager and former Goldman Sachs investment banker, has pledged support for rolling back excessive regulatory burdens and reforming the tax code.
Congress Preps for Farm Bill With Hearing on Rural Economy
The House Agriculture Committee explored the stagnant economic outlook in rural America as it begins discussions on the 2018 farm bill. At a hearing on Wednesday, Chairman Michael Conaway (R-Texas) said there is potential for a crisis in rural America, with net farm incomes down 50 percent over the past four years, due to a collapse in commodity prices.
Testifying before the panel, USDA Chief Economist Robert Johansson said tepid global economic growth, a strong U.S. dollar and pressures on commodity prices are expected to continue this year. However, Johansson also pointed to improved returns on commodities such as cotton and dairy, low energy prices, ebbing drought conditions in the West, and rising exports as bright spots for rural America in 2017.
Conaway said he expects to have a new farm bill in place by the time the current bill expires on Oct. 1, 2018.
Yellen Offers Community Bank Reg-Relief Suggestions
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Congress might want to consider exempting community banks from the Volcker rule and federal incentive-compensation standards. Responding to questions during her testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, Yellen said the Fed and other agencies are taking steps to reduce regulatory burdens on community banks. She also indicated that an interest rate increase could come at the Federal Open Market Committee’s March meeting.