Legislative Update with Jay Kruse
by Jay Kruse
Chief Advocacy Officer

Good Morning!

It is a busy week in the Dakotas as legislative sessions in both states continue to push forward. In Washington, the House is holding a committee work week after earlier delivering an Article of Impeachment against former President Trump to the Senate. On Monday, the Senate confirmed President Biden’s Treasury Secretary nominee, Janet Yellen. Yellen formerly served as the chair of the Federal Reserve and will now be the first woman to hold the title of Treasury Secretary. 

South Dakota Session Update.

Today marks the 11th legislative day, and at the end of this week, a third of this year’s session will already be over! Legislators still have until the 3rd and 4th of February (next week) to introduce new bills. And, bills do continue to flood in daily, with 101 bills introduced in the House and 116 in the Senate as of this morning.

There are a few bills of particular importance to credit unions that I would like to highlight.

HB 1015 – This would grant authority to the Department of Labor to create an “appraiser experience training program” under which licensees may obtain requisite experience hours, passed through the House Commerce and Energy Committee 13-0 as well as the full House 61-9. We believe this legislation will help new appraisers enter the profession and expand the availability of appraisers across the state.

HB 1046 – Would limit the liability for certain exposures to COVID-19 to intentional acts. The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone during the past year including credit union members. This past year, credit unions across the Dakotas banded together to meet our members' changing needs. In response to these unprecedented circumstances, many South Dakota credit unions offered PPP small business loans and other loan relief, waived fees, and participated in many different forms of community support. However, credit unions are businesses that have the added responsibility of protecting their employees and members. HB 1046 simply gives businesses peace of mind, that if they follow state statute, orders, and regulations they will be protected from frivolous litigation. This legislation passed through committee 12-1 as well as the full House 60-10.

SB 92 – This requires an agency to prepare an “affordable housing impact statement” when submitting any proposed rule that will have a direct impact on the cost of single-family or multi-family housing. SDCL 1-26-2.1 already requires a small business impact statement. SB 92 appears to have a similar requirement for housing. This statement will be published on a public website. This bill is scheduled for hearing today.

You can review and find more details on all the bills we are tracking at www.dakcu.org/bill-tracking.

Todd Harper named Chairman of NCUA.

We would like to congratulate Todd Harper on being selected by President Biden to be the 12th chairman of the NCUA Board. Many of you will remember him from our Virtual Hike the Hill last September. He is the first member of the NCUA staff to become an NCUA Board Member and Chairman. Mr. Harper will now be tasked with leading the NCUA out of this pandemic and through a period of economic recovery. We appreciate the work Mr. Harper has done serving as a member of the board and look forward to our continued engagement with him in his new role.

You can read through the full NCUA press release announcement here.

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.


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