Legislative Update with Kayla Pulvermacher
by Kayla Pulvermacher
State Legislative Director
1/11/2021

As I begin the 2021 Legislative Session as your lobbyist, I just want to take a moment to tell you how honored I am to work on your behalf. I’ve always felt humbled to do this type of work; every day I get to represent the interests of real North Dakotans on issues that affect them. There’s no better way to make a living than to know you get to make a difference!

That said, a Legislative Session during a pandemic is enough to make any seasoned lobbyist feel like they’ve started their first session again. Every committee has a different room; testimony is through an online system we’ll all slowly get used to; and chairs are few and far between. And of course, don’t forget to wear your masks! After the first few weeks are under our belts I’m sure it will all become old hat.

Bills have been a bit slower to get introduced due to the new online systems. But just because they are being posted slower doesn’t necessarily mean there will be fewer. We fully expect that once the bottleneck lets loose, we’ll have our hands full.

The following is a quick look at some of the bills we’re monitoring on your behalf:

HB 1026 makes changes to the Agriculture Department’s authority on intervening on a suspected insolvency. The original bill made changes to the assets that may be seized and included real property. The Financial Coalition suggested changes that narrowed their ability to seize “all assets” to just the grain that is still on premises. That said, there are still issues that will need to be addressed in this bill in order for it to work for lienholders.

HB 1072 provides that an electronic proof of valid licensing may be used for identification purposes. In case of a discrepancy between a physical and electronic credential, the electronic credential takes priority and is considered to provide the current information.

SB 2101 allows the department to utilize any carryover funds they have available in their budget.  Additionally, it changes the dates of assessments from once a year to twice a year. The bill passed committee and passed the Senate floor unanimously.

SB 2102 makes changes to existing emergency receivership code. Changes include:

  • Removing the provision that would allow a credit union to apply for an injunction from the court. A credit union would now apply to the State Credit Union Board (SCUB), and their decision is final.
  • Removing provisions for requesting a hearing related to taking possession of the credit union. The commissioner or board would take possession of the board or appoint a conservator or liquidating agent for the credit union. 
  • Creates provisions that the commissioner (without involvement of SCUB) may take possession of the business and property of an institution the commissioner supervises if it appears to the commissioner that certain conditions exist (including very broad provisions) if the institution is operating in an unsafe/unsound condition or the institution is in violation of an applicable state or federal regulation.

After voicing our concerns to the department and to the Governor’s office, the Commissioner submitted an amendment to the committee to allow for an appeal process to the SCUB.

SB 2103 creates caps on interest, fees, etc. that a payday lender or online lender may assess.

Although such legislation has yet to be introduced, we believe a repairman’s lien bill will appear next week. From what we hear, the potential bill would allow a repairman to obtain a clean title if the vehicle is abandoned at their shop after a set amount of time. The shop would also be able to charge storage fees. This is a bill that you will be hearing more about in the future.

We will continue to stay active during both states' Legislative Sessions, with boots on the ground in Bismarck and Pierre. Please be sure to sign up for advocacy alerts on our website at www.dakcu.org under the “Grassroots Advocacy” tab. If you have questions or concerns regarding these or other bills, I’d love to hear from you. You may contact me at kpulvermacher@dakcu.org. I will be providing a weekly update on Mondays going forward, so see you here again next week!

 

 

 

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