It’s as busy as ever at the State Level – A Message from Danielle Fagre Arlowe

It’s January, which means it’s the start of state legislative sessions across the country. This year, 46 state legislatures will meet for regular sessions, with some states starting new sessions and others picking up where they left off in 2017. Just this week, 20 states convened their 2018 sessions, with four more scheduled to convene next week. Republicans currently control 32 state legislatures; Democrats control 13 state legislatures; control is split in four states; and Nebraska’s legislature is officially nonpartisan.

We are tracking hundreds of bills prefiled for 2018 legislative sessions and continue to track thousands of bills carrying over from the 2017 sessions. Cybersecurity and data breach legislation will likely be a priority for many states, following a series of major data breaches and the implementation of cybersecurity regulations in New York. We also expect debt and collections issues to continue the spike we saw last session and feature prominently in 2018.

Last year we saw an increase in all-in rate cap proposals, but many AFSA members were instrumental in preventing these measures from becoming law. We are on the lookout for similar efforts in 2018 and will work with our members to stop harmful rate caps in their tracks. Ancillary products also continue to face additional scrutiny at the state level, and we will continue to monitor legislation and regulations affecting the industry.

With the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) expected to pare back some of its regulatory initiatives, many state regulators have indicated they intend to step up their own efforts to regulate the financial services industry. As in years past, we will continue to engage with state regulators on behalf of AFSA members, highlight problematic regulations, and identify opportunities to work together to improve the regulatory environment at the state level.

With the states expected to be as busy as ever, AFSA members can expect frequent updates on state activity and new resources available on priority issues and new issues developing in the states.