Legislative Update: January 12, 2015

The first week of the Montana Legislature has come and gone.   The new legislative members were sworn in on January 5th.

As the first week is generally reserved for procedural matters, there was little of legislative substance that took place, and nothing of major importance for the community banking industry was considered.

The most ‘important’ development of the week was a rule change supported by the Democratic house members and 11 Republicans that allows a limited number of bill that have been killed in committee to be revived and brought to the house floor using only a majority vote, as opposed to a supermajority vote. This change in house rules is expected to give Governor Bullock’s Medicaid expansion plan a much better chance to pass the House of Representatives.

Several bills of interest to the community banking industry are slated to receive their first hearing this week.  These bills and committee hearings are as follows:

TUESDAY
House Business and Labor – Room 172, 8am
HB29 – Revise regulation and duties regarding real estate appraisers (Tom Jacobson)
HB57 – Strengthen security protections against financial abuse (Moffie Funk)
HB66 – Revise banking laws relating to documents filed with the Department (Greg Hertz)
Senate Business, Labor, and Economic Affairs – Room 422, 8am
SB23 – Limiting liability for title insurers of condominiums converted to townhouses (Roger Webb)
SB24 – Generally revise condominium and townhouse ownership laws (Roger Webb)
SB25 – Generally revise condominium and townhouse ownership laws (Roger Webb)

WEDNESDAY     
Senate Business, Labor, and Economic Affairs – Room 422, 8am
SB75 – Revise laws related to nondepository lenders (Gene Vuckovich)
SB98 – Revise Montana mortgage laws (Tom Facey)

THURSDAY
Senate Energy and Telecommunications – Room 317, 3pm
SB75 – Revise laws related to nondepository lenders (Gene Vuckovich)
SB98 – Revise Montana mortgage laws (Tom Facey)
Senate Taxation – Room 405, 8am
SB54 – Authorize public disclosure of real estate sale prices for tax appraisals (Dick Barrett)

The MIB will support the real estate sales price disclosure bill, and the revise mortgage laws bill, and the document filing bill with the Banking Commissioner.  We will monitor the townhouse/condominium proposal as it may impact negatively your security interests in those units.  We will monitor the real estate appraiser bill to determine what, if any, negative consequences may arise from the proposal.

We will discuss these bills, and other proposals at our board meeting this coming Wednesday in Helena.

As always, please let me know if there are any legislative proposals you want me to track or to weigh in on.

Best,

Jim Brown
MIB Executive Director

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