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Maine League Backs ATV Bill, Opposes Privacy/Data Bills
PORTLAND, Maine (4/16/13)--The Maine Credit Union League supports a state bill to require titling for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), snowmobiles and watercraft, but opposes two separate bills regarding privacy protection and personal data.

The league helped to draft language for L.D. 1190--regarding ATVs, snowmobiles and watercraft. The lead sponsor of the bill is Rep. Ray Wallace, who chairs the supervisory committee at Maine Highlands FCU in Dexter (Weekly Update April 12).

"For many years, the issue of titling ATVs, snowmobiles and boats has been the No. 1 requested piece of legislation from credit unions" in the state, said league President John Murphy.

The league coordinated testimony Thursday by credit union representatives before the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee in support of the bill. Adam Sheehan, executive vice president at Maine Highlands FCU, Dexter, and Roland Poirier, president/CEO of Otis FCU, Jay, testified in support of the bill.

"Titling recreational vehicles would assure consumers that their seller is the true owner," Sheehan explained. In addition, "the lender would be assured that their borrower is the true owner and therefore authorized to pledge the recreational vehicle or device as collateral for a loan.

"This would likely enable lenders to not only make more of these types of loans, thus benefiting the economy, but also offer these loans at lower rates as a result of the titling provision which benefits the consumer," he added.

The league testified April 8 in opposition to L.D. 1195-- a bill that would prevent employers from obtaining consumer reports with information about an individual's credit and financial state. Quincy Hentzel, league director of  governmental affairs, testified before the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee, that the bill "could have significant, negative ramifications, especially in the financial services industry.

"Without having the benefit of knowledge about a potential employee's financial standing and a clear understanding of their credit history, a credit union could be putting its reputation, its organization and its relationships in jeopardy," Hentzel explained. "The impact of hiring an employee who is financially irresponsible could be as damaging to a credit union as hiring a person with a criminal history, which is information that is accessible."  

The league also attended the work session for L.D. 158--which seeks further protection for consumers' personal data. The league testified in opposition to the bill at the public hearing, citing the lack of an exemption for financial institutions. The committee voted the bill 7-5 Ought Not To Pass, and it will go to the full legislature for consideration.

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