2021 State Legislative Session
The 2021 legislative session was incredibly successful for the MBA and the banking community. MBA’s entire legislative agenda for the 2021 session passed both chambers and will head to the governor’s desk for consideration. This includes residential PACE reforms, bank statute modernization, updates to the Uniform Commercial Code and consumer loan act reforms. Other bills supported by MBA that passed include COVID-19 liability protections for businesses and funding for the Missouri Department of Revenue to implement an electronic lien and title system.
MBA thanks the bill sponsors and bill handlers, along with Senate and House leadership (Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, Senate Floor Leader Caleb Rowden, House Speaker Rob Vescovo and House Floor Leader Dean Plocher), for their work ensuring positive legislation supported by the MBA made their way to finish line this session.
The governor has until Wednesday, July 14, to sign or veto legislation.
All measures opposed by MBA failed to move forward. This includes a state-run retirement plan, a mandate on financial institutions to serve kratom shops and a bill that would prohibit any company, including banks, from participating in a public contract if the company has a policy against serving firearms entities.Lawmakers will return to Jefferson City for at least one — possibly three — special sessions. Lawmakers must authorize the Federal Reimbursement Allowance, or FRA, before end of September or risk losing approximately $2 billion in funds for Medicaid and other health-related programs. Redistricting is another topic that must be addressed, and election reform may be considered during the interim.
MBA has compiled a summary of legislation supported by the association that passed this session, as well as measures that MBA opposed that failed to move forward.
MBA-Supported Bills That Passed in 2021
Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (R-PACE) Reforms (HB 697) — MBA Priority
This measure overhauls the state’s R-PACE law. PACE is a financing mechanism for energy efficient projects on residential properties. The financing is attached to the property as a tax assessment and receives super priority lien status. HB 697 includes the following provisions.
- authorizes oversight and exam by the Missouri Division of Finance
- limits project costs to 20% of the assessor’s value
- sets a loan-to-value ratio based on the assessor’s value
- provides numerous consumer protections, including ability-to-repay
MBA thanks Rep. Bruce DeGroot, R-Chesterfield, and Sen. Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo.
Consumer Loan Act Reforms (SB 106) — MBA Priority
This bill updates several provisions in the state’s consumer loan act. Most affect consumer lending statutes to:
- streamline compliance
- reduce lending costs
- facilitate electronic and remote filing and execution of documents
- promote small business and small farm lending
MBA thanks Sens. Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo, Justin Brown, R-Rolla, and Repsm Dan Shaul, R-Imperial, and Bill Owen, R-Springfield.
Electronic Lien & Title (ELT) System – DOR Technology Fee (SB 176) — MBA Supported
This measure provides a funding mechanism to upgrade the Missouri Department of Revenue’s technology and implement an electronic lien and title system, among other upgrades. The bill increases the administrative fee auto dealers are allowed to charge (from $200 to up to $500), with 10% of that fee going to the technology fund. The bill was spearheaded by the Missouri Auto Dealers Association and supported by MBA.
MBA thanks Sen. Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield, and Rep. Aaron Griesheimer, R-Washington.
Uniform Commercial Code (SB 106) — MBA Priority
This legislation updates Section 3-309 of the Missouri Uniform Commercial Code to a current uniform law version that addresses the right to enforce an instrument when the original instrument has been lost or destroyed. This is intended to help facilitate the transition to electronic documents.
MBA thanks Sens. Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo, Paul Wieland, R-Imperial, and Rep. Dan Shaul, R-Imperial.
Bank Statute Modernization (SB 106) — MBA Priority
The bill updates and modernizes several provisions within the state banking code, including electronic notice of stockholder meetings. It also authorizes remote board meetings and simplifies record keeping for bank director oaths, among several other updates.
MBA thanks Sens. Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo, Paul Wieland, R-Imperial, and Reps. Dan Shaul, R-Imperial, and Terry Thompson, R-Lexington.
COVID-19 Liability Protections for Businesses (SBs 51 & 42) — MBA Supported
This legislation limits liability of a business for any claim or cause of action for damages arising out of or based on exposure or potential exposure to COVID-19 that was sustained on the premises, unless the plaintiff can prove by clear and convincing evidence the owner intentionally harmed the plaintiff or acted with a deliberate and flagrant disregard for the safety of others.
MBA thanks Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer R-Parkville, and Rep. John Wiemann, R-O’Fallon.
MBA-Opposed Bills Failing to Move Forward in 2021
Financial Services Mandate for Kratom Merchants/Distributors (HB 350)
This bill originally contained language that prohibited financial institutions and/or card networks from refusing or terminating services to customers or merchants because they engage in the sale of kratom products. MBA worked with the sponsor and committee chair to successfully remove the provision in the House committee.
Firearms Industry Non-Discrimination Act (HB 1279, SB 492)
HB 1279 would have banned state and local governments from doing business with banks that have a written policy against serving firearms businesses. SB 492 is broader and would have banned them from doing business with any entity that discriminates against firearms manufacturers.
This legislation intends to address a variety of barriers to starting or buying a small business. Of concern to MBA is a ban on noncompete agreements (the latest version of the bill would allow them only for employees making a salary of $75,000 or more).
Insurance Mandates with HSA Implications (HB 401, HB 1350, HB 1409)
While unintended, these bills would have resulted in Missourians losing the ability to contribute to their health savings accounts by mandating insurance coverage for epinephrine auto-injectors. MBA worked with all bill sponsors to correct the language. Ultimately, these bills did not move forward.
State Retirement Plan for Private-Sector Employees (SB 298, HB 1229)
This legislation would have created a voluntary state-run retirement plan for employees of businesses with 100 employees or less.
Credit Card Match Lists (HB 1391)
This bill would have prohibited a lender issuing credit cards from reporting a merchant to a match list without first notifying the merchant and allowing 30 days to “remedy” the reason for reporting.
Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (HB 1095)
This is a broad bill addressing various tax credits, including LIHTC. It would have capped the program at $90 million, implemented a sunset every six years and instituted a scoring rubric.
Loans Obtained through the Paycheck Protection Program (HB 136)
This measure would have prohibited a mortgage company from foreclosing on any mortgagor if a mortgage company received a PPP loan and the loan was forgiven by the Small Business Administration.
This legislation would have required a financing entity to remit motor vehicle sales tax directly if the sales tax is part of the finance agreement.
Bankruptcy Protections for Education Savings Accounts (HB 454)
This bill would have provided bankruptcy protection for the Missouri Education Savings Program and the Missouri Higher Education Deposit Program, also known commonly as 529 education savings accounts.
Small Dollar Loan Interest Rate Cap (HB 651)
This measure would have prohibited lenders of consumer credit loans, title loans, consumer installment loans and unsecured loans of $500 or less (commonly called payday loans) from charging interest, fees and finance charges in excess of 36% of the unpaid balance of the loan.
Foreclosure Action (HB 714)
This bill would have prohibited a financial institution from petitioning for a foreclosure if:
- the borrower is 65 years of age or older
- the assessed value of the property increased by 20% or more
- the monthly escrow payment increased
- the borrower continued to make monthly payments that are greater than the principal and interest due
Other Bills of Interest Passed in 2021
Treasurer’s Investment Options (HJR 35)
This measure proposes a constitutional amendment to expand the state treasurer’s investment options to include a seven-year federal securities (increased from five years) and allows purchase of highly rated in- and out-of-state municipal securities. This bill must go to the vote of the people.
Wayfair / Online Sales Tax Collection (SB 153 & 97)
The bill allows the state of Missouri to begin collecting sales tax from online businesses. MBA ensured this legislation included clarifying language to ensure banks are not considered a "marketplace facilitator." Missouri is one of the last states to adopt online sales tax collection.