Outlook for the Legislative Session
The second regular session of the 122nd Maine Legislature will convene on Jan. 4, 2006, at 10:00 a.m. Here is a sneak preview of some legislation expected at this second, shorter session.
• Access home equity advances with an equity card:
Proposed by Sen. Nancy Sullivan (D-York) – (Initial request rejected by Legislative Council)
This bill is proposed to amend Maine law to allow equity type cards to be offered by Maine-chartered financial institutions without having to provide an interest grace period.
• Mandated reporting of suspected financial abuse of elders: Proposed by Sen. Art Mayo (D-Sagadahoc)
This bill would add financial services employees to the definition of “mandatory” reports for the purpose of financial abuse. The proposed bill would be drafted using the new California language regarding financial abuse of the elderly.
• Prohibit holds on debit cards:
Proposed by Rep. Walter Ash (D-Belfast)
The intent of this bill is to prohibit merchants (e.g. gas stations) from placing holds greater than the purchase amount on debit cards.
• Restrict credit reporting agencies from selling information:
Proposed by Rep. Carol Grose (D-Woolwich) At this writing, Rep. Grose has not provided a draft of this bill.
• Adopt federal tax deductions for college tuition payments and health savings accounts (HSAs):
Proposed by Rep. Tim Driscoll (D-Westbrook)
Rep. Driscoll has not provided a draft of this bill. In 2003, Maine removed tuition payments and HSAs from the list of eligible state tax deductions.
• Payday lending study and recommendations:
Report due Feb. 1, 2006, from Office of Consumer Credit Regulation
• Security breach study and recommendations:
Report due Jan. 15, 2006, from Office of Consumer Credit Regulation
• Additional oversight of state-chartered credit unions:
Proposed legislation from Bureau of Financial Institutions
The bill permits state-chartered credit unions to provide employee benefits reasonable to the credit union’s size and subject to rule-making by the Bureau of Financial Institutions.
• Payroll processors:
Proposed by Sen. William Diamond (D-Cumberland), possibly submitted by governor
This bill is proposed to establish a guarantee fund (possibly through the Finance Authority of Maine) to assist small payroll processors who are unable to obtain bonding.