Bills that Did and Didn’t Survive Crossover Day

Monday was Crossover Day, the deadline for the Maryland House and Senate to pass legislation in time for the other chamber to consider it before the session ends on April 10.

Here's the status of some of the key bills the Association has been monitoring...

Bills Moving Forward
Access to Banking Act
(HB548/SB550) passed both the House and Senate
The Association testified in support of the Access to Banking Act in the House and Senate and have worked closely with the Moore-Miller Administration. The bill creates a quasi-state entity “venture fund” to develop technology products to increase access to banking in underserved communities. Most importantly, this bill ensures that the products developed by the venture fund will be safely disseminated to the public through regulated financial institutions. Jurisdictions often miss this vital point when creating these types of programs, leading to unregulated fintech companies impacting people’s lives without oversight. 

Cannabis Reform (HB556/SB516) passed the House.
This sweeping package of cannabis laws, which are the result of last election’s referendum legalizing adult use cannabis, has passed the House with significant amendments. As far as credit unions are concerned, the bill creates substantial state level protections for financial institutions. Under the bill, the State banking regulator is prohibited from taking enforcement actions against credit unions, other depository institutions and insurance companies for providing financial services to a “cannabis-related legitimate business” or a “service providers. These specified institutions are also not liable under any State law or regulation solely for providing a cannabis-related legitimate business or a service provider with financial services or for investing any income derived from the financial services. For purposes of federal law, the proceeds from a transaction involving activities of a cannabis-related legitimate business or service provider may not be considered proceeds from an unlawful activity, as specified. The State is prohibited from cooperating or aiding federal law enforcement authorities attempting to prosecute financial institutions that are lawfully operating under the bill. This language was submitted to the Sponsor by the MD|DC Credit Union Association.

Did Not Crossover
Foreclosure Actions - Responsibility of Secured Parties and Stay for Determination of Financial Assistance (HB1223)
The Association opposed this bill because it could have added more time to the already burdensome foreclosure process and would have added additional hurdles for financial institutions who have members using Homeowners Assistance Funding (HAF) funds.

Financial Literacy – Unfortunately, no financial literacy bills made it out of either chamber this year. The Association testified on two different bills, one (SB238) that would have made financial education a graduation requirement and another bill (HB99/SB316) requiring the development of a financial literacy curriculum by the State Board of Education for a half credit course. We will continue to advocate for the inclusion of a financial education curriculum in Maryland public schools, and plan to reach out to the Moore-Miller Administration to discuss the path forward.