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Signing legislation

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President Joe Biden recently signed H.R. 3746 (the Fiscal Responsibility Act) into law, which temporarily suspends the debt ceiling until January 1, 2025. The bill also imposes a 1-percent growth cap on discretionary spending in fiscal years 2024 and 2025, which may affect available funding for popular federal programs.

Some credit unions support their operations by leveraging specific federal programs. These programs include but are not limited to:

  • The Emergency Capital Investment Program (U.S. Treasury Department).
  • The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI).
  • The Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (National Credit Union Administration).

With limited funding for the next two fiscal years, credit unions must be ready to advocate for programs that benefit the industry.

Some additional major provisions of the temporary debt-ceiling suspension bill include:

  • IRS budget cuts. The bill repurposes funds for the IRS by redirecting $10 billion from fiscal year 2024 appropriations and $10 billion from fiscal year 2025 appropriations to other discretionary federal programs.
  • Student loan payments reinstated. The bill requires that student loan payments resume in September, ending the Biden Administration’s pause on loan payments.
  • COVID relief funding reappropriated. $28 billion in unspent COVID-19 relief funds will be reappropriated to other federal programs.

For full details, you can view the bill text of H.R. 3746 here. You can also check the voting record of U.S. House representatives here and how U.S. senators voted here. If you have any questions, email Stephanie Cuevas, senior vice president of federal government affairs for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.

California’s Legislative Half-Time
Last Friday marked the house-of-origin deadline for the California State Legislature, which is the official halfway point in the legislative cycle and means that bills must pass out of their original house to be considered for the remainder of the legislative session.

The California Credit Union League has been engaged on nearly 40 measures this year, and some of these did not meet this deadline — meaning they are “dead” for the legislative year.

Two of the League’s top priority bills that it opposed are not moving forward — Assembly Bill 331 and Senate Bill 809. AB 331 would have required credit unions to run a costly and labor-intensive impact report of all automated decision technologies, while SB 809 would have placed new burdensome requirements on background checks.

“We are excited about these two victories,” said Robert Wilson, senior vice president of state government affairs for the Leagues. However, despite these two wins, financial literacy in schools will have to wait yet again as Assembly Bill 984 did not proceed forward this year.

Looking forward, you can find a list of the California League’s remaining priority bills here. The League is still working on making the safe harbor more workable in Senate Bill 278 (elder financial abuse lability), as well as pushing for a clarification in the “junk fee” bill (Senate Bill 478) so it does not apply to financial services. The League also remains opposed to Senate Bill 399, which would limit political and regulatory speech.

If you or your team have questions, please email Robert Wilson.

Nevada Legislature Adjourns
Late Monday evening, the Nevada State Legislature officially adjourned its 82nd session. The end of this session was dominated by a potential deal to bring the Oakland A’s professional baseball team to Las Vegas, a film tax credit, and the final budget bill — the last of which dealt with state public works and construction.

However, all of these bills failed to pass.

“On the credit union front, the end of this legislative session in Nevada was relatively drama free, which is a major positive,” Wilson said. “Throughout the session, the Nevada Credit Union League worked with legislators on a dozen or so pieces of legislation to ensure favorable outcomes for credit unions.”

A full legislative report will be made available to Nevada Credit Union League member-credit unions that outlines various pieces of legislation that the Nevada League advocated for during this legislative session.

A few favorable outcomes included: ensuring the ability to still have arbitration clauses in contracts for GAP waiver and credit life insurance products (Assembly Bill 439); a bill to bring financial literacy into high schools (Assembly Bill 274); and protecting the work of years past to ensure various credit union carveouts in the privacy and data collection space were not impacted.

“A special ‘thank you’ goes out to all of those who attended the Nevada Government Relations Rally this year,” Wilson said. “And thank you to those who served on our government relations committee. There is already a rumor that a special session will be called. So stay tuned.”

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