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Outcome for CUs as CA Legislative Session was Adjourned

Less than a week ago, the California State Legislature adjourned until January 3, 2024. The end of session was relatively free of last-minute drama, which is how it has been since the passage of Proposition 54 in 2016.

Prop 54 states that all bills must be in print for 72 hours before the final vote on that bill. This is not to say there were not fights on the final week of session, however. A couple bills the California Credit Union League either supported or opposed were voted on this final week.

Most notably: The two climate reporting bills, Senate Bills 253 and 261, are headed to Gov. Gavin Newsom for his signature. These bills only apply to entities with revenue either over $1 billion (SB 253) or $500 million (SB 261). The League fought hard to prevent these bills from passing the last two years and was successful in securing amendments providing a delayed implementation period for both bills, while also significantly raising the reporting threshold last session in SB 261.

Credit union leaders also saw remote online notarization legislation pass (Senate Bill 696). However, this bill has a lengthy delayed implementation as well.

A bill that would prohibit the use of common counts in collections (Assembly Bill 1414) also passed in the state legislature. The League opposed this bill.

There was also a bill expanding paid sick leave from three to five days (Senate Bill 616) that passed. The original bill was seven days, and the League was successful in reducing the number from seven to five days.

Finally, a bill the League supported that will license and regulate digital asset companies (Assembly Bill 39) is also headed to Newsom for signature.

This state legislative session in California was one of the most active sessions for the League in recent memory, with positions on nearly 50 bills. The League’s success on stopping the elder financial abuse liability bill (Senate Bill 278) and being carved out of the junk fee bill (Senate Bill 478) show the ever-important role advocacy plays in the credit union movement.

“As we look to 2024, we expect the homeowner’s insurance crisis to be one of the main topics the legislature will address, and we also expect elder financial abuse to be a hot topic as well,” said Rob Wilson, senior vice president of state government affairs for the League. “The League also plans to run a state charter modernization bill, so please send your ideas in soon.”

A full legislative report will be distributed to all League-member credit unions after Newsom has taken action on bills that will impact credit unions. He has 30 days to sign or veto bills once they are in his possession.

“Thank you to all who helped with Connect for the Cause and attended the League’s California Government Relations Rally earlier this year,” Wilson said. “Those grassroot events set the groundwork for our success! On to 2024.”

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