Other Bills Introduced This Week
We add bills daily to our tracking list as they’re introduced throughout the session. Be sure and watch the State Issues page
on our website for updates. This week we added several bills.
Banks Serving Firearms Dealers.
Sen. Jesse Stone
(R-Waynesboro) introduced the Georgia Firearms Industry Nondiscrimination Act, SB 282
, along with 14 of his senate colleagues. The bill prohibits the discriminatory refusal to provide credit or financial services to persons engaged in the lawful commerce of firearms or ammunition products and their trade associations. In speaking with Sen. Stone, he said the bill was introduced in response to Operation Choke Point that was interpreted by the firearms industry as the federal government’s attempt to shut off credit and deposit services to the industry. The bill essentially means that there has to be a reason other than the fact that the business is selling firearms for the relationship to be affected. We are unaware of any banks refusing to do business with firearms dealers, so please let us know if you have specific examples. We understand the federal regulators once included pawn shops among the businesses creating a high risk of consumer fraud and that resulted in a higher risk of compliance for their financial institution. Therefore those relationships were severed in certain instances. Some pawn shops also sell firearms and because the bill states the decision to not serve a dealer cannot be made solely on the fact that firearms are being sold, we expect those decisions may be revisited if the bill passes. Pawn shops weren’t the only businesses singled out by the Feds. Payday lenders, check cashers, porn shops and other businesses were highlighted since they bring the bank significant compliance risks and costs mostly related to the federal Bank Secrecy Act and the Anti Money Laundering Act. Statutes like the one proposed here obviously create a federal-state tension. A violation of the Act comes with a $10,000 penalty through a new private right of action created in the bill. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee.
ABA Chairman Dan Blanton Recognized
. Reps. Barbara Sims
(R-Augusta), Greg Morris
(R-Vidalia) and Chuck Williams
(R-Watkinsville) introduced a nice resolution, HR 1073
, this week honoring former GBA Chairman Dan Blanton for his long service to the banking industry and as the current chairman of the American Bankers Association. Congratulations, Dan!
Data Breach Notification Bill
Introduced. Sen. John Albers
(R-Roswell) introduced SB 276
this week requiring certain businesses and government agencies to notify affected individuals within 72 hours of a data breach. Our initial concerns that the bill would create a new compliance burden for banks appears to have been addressed in the bill as state or federally regulated businesses that are already required to have data breach protocols in place will be deemed to have already complied with the new notification standard for businesses not already covered.
529 Savings Account Tax Deduction Increase.
Rep. Sam Teasley
(R-Marietta) introduced HB 802
which if passed will increase the tax deduction for joint return filers for annual contributions to 529 college savings plans from $2,000 to $4,000.