Housing Finance Reform Hearing, Marijuana Banking Mark-up this Week

The Senate Banking Committee will hold two hearings this week to discuss a housing finance reform proposal from Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).

CUNA and the state leagues have been communicating to Congress and the Administration the need for credit unions’ continued access to a viable and competitive secondary mortgage market in any housing finance reform proposal.

The housing reform hearings are scheduled for 10 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Also on Tuesday, the House Financial Services Committee will mark-up a number of bills including one related to serving marijuana-related businesses. The mark-up is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

The SAFE Banking Act (H.R. 1595) was introduced by House Financial Services Committee members Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) and Denny Heck (D-Wash.) after the committee held the first-ever congressional hearing on the issue in February. The measure currently has 143 co-sponsors, including three from New Jersey, Reps Bill Pascrell (D-9), Albio Sires (D-8) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12).

Serving marijuana-related businesses poses significant compliance and potential legal risks for credit unions and other financial services providers. While CUNA and the NJCUL have not taken a position on the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana, the associations support Congress examining what steps can be taken to bring cannabusinesses into the traditional and regulated financial services system.

In a related development, state legislation to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana is moving forward in New Jersey. Legalization bills (A4497S2703) received final committee approvals in the Senate and Assembly last week and have been scheduled for floor votes in both chambers today. While it is expected to pass the Assembly, passage in the Senate is less certain. Gov. Phil Murphy, a vocal proponent of legalization, has indicated he will sign the legislation if it reaches his desk. 

New Jersey legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes in 2010.