AFSA Attends NCSL Legislative Update

This week, AFSA’s State Government Affairs team attended the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) meeting in Nashville, Tenn. With over 6,000 attendees, NCSL’s annual legislative summit is the largest gathering of state elected officials, legislative staff members, and government-affairs professionals. During the conference attendees discussed a wide range of issues on the state level and voted on a variety of policy directives and resolutions in committee meetings.

At the Communications, Financial Services and Interstate Commerce (CFI) Committee meeting, elected officials considered five policy directives and resolutions. The committee approved a directive addressing Internet and electronic commerce, which urged Congress to pass a comprehensive data privacy standard that would not preempt state privacy laws. The directive also called on Congress to modernize the Telephone Consumer Privacy Act to expand to robocall mitigation and call blocking technology and implement call authentication technology to identify “spoofed” calls.

Committee members also approved a directive calling on states to work with the federal government and private sector to protect intellectual-property rights, as well as two resolutions supporting greater broadband access and smart-community infrastructure.

Committee members tabled a resolution calling on Congress to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Enacted in 1977 to mitigate perceived discrimination in lending, the CRA requires federal regulators to score how well financial institutions serve low- and moderate-income communities. Regulators can use this score to delay or block a financial institution from expanding its services or merging with another entity. As it stands, the CRA does not include non-bank financial institutions. The resolution supported expanding the CRA to include non-bank entities such as mortgage lenders, financial technology companies, and credit unions.

In addition to the CFI committee meeting, NCSL’s summit featured panels on data privacy and cybersecurity. Following California’s passage of the nation’s first comprehensive data privacy law, legislators in more than 15 states introduced similar data privacy bills. Currently, only Maine and Nevada have passed new consumer privacy laws, both of which are more limited in scope than the CCPA. During the panels, legislative and industry leaders discussed the features of the various state privacy laws and the need for a national data privacy standard.