The state legislative session in Georgia is already upon us – while it does not “begin” until January 13th, that is a mere technicality as there have been a large number of pre-session hearings. These off-session hearings are where many of the issues for the following year take shape – and once the Legislature convenes, these (as well as all the other issues yet to come) take on a rapid-fire pace over the short months. The most recent hearing activity includes:
- On November 19th the House Science and Technology Committee held a hearing on blockchain technology. While it was slated as an overview for the committee members, the hearing touched on a wide range of financial topics from fraud, fintech companies housed in Atlanta, financial regulations, bitcoin and other cyber currencies. From a credit union perspective this hearing (and others like it) are attended by the LSCU lobbying team to learn what direction the Legislature may go with these topics, and to protect credit union operations and ability to serve their members.
- On November 19th the House Special Study Committee on Innovative Financial Solutions for Senior Living met to discuss proposals of what to see in the upcoming session. While this hearing was directed at memory-care issues, this is watched closely by the LSCU lobbying team to ensure that the issue addressed in the 2019 state session on expanding the elder abuse reporting requirements on credit unions and others is not woven into any of the proposals that move forward.
- On November 20th the House Energy and Utilities Committee met to discuss the implementation of new broadband capabilities across Georgia, and what has been done since the Legislature passed multiple bills on this in 2019. The LSCU lobbying team was on hand to monitor the funding discussions and ensure that outside industries seeking to come into Georgia do not use it as a guise to offer predatory type products that impact members and supersede the lien priority status of a mortgage.
There are more hearings pending over the next few weeks, with legislators already pre-filing bills for the 2020 state session. Stay tuned!