HELENA, Mont. (2/11/15)--The Montana Credit Union Network (MCUN) has its eyes on a number of bills traveling through the legislative process this week, including a "patent troll" bill and two others that directly affect state-chartered credit unions.
Similar to bills that--with credit union support--have been passed in other states, the patent troll bill takes aim at nonpracticing entities that send demand letters to force settlements or payments. In the case of credit unions, it's often for technology or services they have purchased as end users.
"Our role is to be a proponent of the bill and to help its passage to ensure that Montana credit unions and businesses don't become the default when other states are working to have the restrictions in place," Donya Parrish, MCUN vice president of dues-supported services, told News Now in an email. "Any of our credit unions would be burdened with the expense, time and unnecessary nature of these claims."
The bill has passed the Senate and has been referred to a House committee, Parrish said.
MCUN also is monitoring a bill proposed by the Division of Banking that would update and clarify credit union board of director duties and add a financial literacy component.
Montana credit unions are largely supportive of the bill, as many already provide training for their boards despite the absence of a regulatory requirement.
The second credit union-related bill, which was introduced in the House Tuesday, updates the state's credit union act.
Developed by eight state-chartered credit unions over the last 18 months, the bill would add definitions and updates to conflicting language on supervisory and credit committees; remove a restriction on loans to employees at favorable rates; include additional investment options; clarify merger requirements; revise account verification; and expand the Division of Banking's rulemaking authority.
"We do not expect opposition to the bill, but we are working to ensure it is supported," Parrish said.
The league also is tracking a bill it brought forward to increase penalties for the theft of a minor's identity.