Legislative Developments 1-29-2024

Legislative Developments 1-29-2024

Article 9 and lien-related legislation

New Jersey: Assembly Bill 865 was introduced on 1/9/2024 but the text wasn’t available until this week. This bill would require certain providers of commercial financing to provide separate disclosures to recipients. The disclosures would include (i) finance charge; (ii) total repayment amount; (iii) all other fees and charges to be paid by the recipient; and (iv) collateral requirements or security interests.

Wyoming: House Bill 79 was pre-filed on 1/23/2024 to authorize the secretary of state to charge a fee of up to $5,000 for expediting the filing of any Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) record, business entity record, and certain other documents filed with the office.

Other uniform laws legislation (includes the 2022 Amendments to the UCC with UCC Article 12-Controllable Electronic Records)

Arizona: Senate Bill 1281 was introduced on 1/24/2024 to (i) define “central bank digital currency” and what constitutes legal tender in the state; (ii) prohibit the use of central bank digital currency within the state; and (iii) amend the state’s version of UCC § 1-201 to exclude central bank digital currency from the definition of “money.”

California: Assembly Bill 1879 was introduced on 1/22/2024 to authorize the use of electronic signatures by taxpayers and requires every county assessor to accept an electronic signature.

Maryland: Senate Bill 509 was introduced on 1/24/2024 to adopt the Small Business Truth in Lending Act.

South Dakota: House Bill 1163 was introduced on 1/25/2024 to enact the 2022 Amendments to the UCC, including UCC Article 12-Controllable Electronic Records, and related amendments. The governor vetoed a similar bill last year. This version also adds a definition for “central bank digital currency” and a non-uniform definition of “money” that states that “the term is not intended and cannot be construed to create or adopt a central bank digital currency.” The bill omits the uniform amendment to the definition of “money.”

Tennessee: House Bill 1901 was introduced on 1/22/2024 to amend the state’s version of UCC § 1-201. The amendment would add a definition for “central bank digital currency” and exclude central bank digital currency from the definition of “money.” This appears similar to Senate Bill 1764, which was introduced earlier this month.

Emerging technology legislation (blockchain, distributed ledger technology, cryptocurrency, etc.)

Oklahoma: House Bill 4000 was pre-filed on 1/18/2024 to exempt from certain taxes equipment, electricity, and other assets used in the commercial mining of digital assets in a colocation facility.

New Jersey: Assembly Bill 449 and Senate Bill 1618 were introduced on 1/9/2024 but the text was not available until this week. These bills would require the Department of the Treasury to review and approve a viable blockchain-based, digital payment platform to provide payment services to legal and licensed businesses that do not have access to traditional financial services and are forced to operate in cash-only or cash-heavy environments. The purpose of the payment platform is to provide a safe, secure, and compliant system that does not exclude these businesses from participating in digital commerce. The payment platform will provide businesses with access to cashless transactions and secure revenue on a one-to-one basis of virtual currency to U.S. dollars.

New Jersey: Assembly Bill 2249 and Senate Bill 1304 were introduced on 1/9/2024 but the text was not available until this week. These bills would adopt the Digital Asset and Blockchain Technology Act, which would regulate digital asset business activity. A similar but not identical measure was introduced the same day as Senate Bill 666, which also includes provisions that would allow for the formation of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).

Business organization legislation

New Jersey: Assembly Bill 892 and Senate Bill 2164 were introduced on 1/9/2024 but the text wasn’t available until this week. These bills would provide that members who own 10% of an LLC and the managers of a member-managed LLC are jointly and severally liable for housing code, building code, and health code violation charges.

New Jersey: Assembly Bill 2797 and Senate Bill 316 were introduced on 1/9/2024 but the text was not available until this week. These bills would amend the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act to permit partnerships and limited partnerships to convert to and from other business entities and clarify indemnification standards, address notice issues, and make certain other changes.

New York: Senate Bill 8059, which would amend the limited liability company beneficial owner disclosure requirements recently enacted by Senate Bill 995 (2023), passed the Senate on 1/23/2024 and is now in the House. The bill would expand the reporting requirements to include reporting of applicants and other requirements.

Notary legislation

Hawaii: Senate Bill 2816 was introduced on 1/19/2024 to provide that the lieutenant governor shall charge a fee of $10 for each apostille or non-apostille certification issued. A similar measure, House Bill 2480, was introduced on 1/22/2024 but allows the lieutenant governor to set the amount of the fee.

Mississippi: House Bill 492 was introduced on 1/23/2024 to clarify requirements for remote electronic notarial acts.

Wisconsin: House Bill 985 was introduced on 1/25/2024 to authorize remote notarization of various documents, including estate planning documents, remote witnessing of a declaration to health care professionals, an authorization for final disposition, a power of attorney for health care, a power of attorney for finances and property, or a will. This appears to be identical to Senate Bill 898, which was introduced earlier this month.

Real estate recording-related legislation

Hawaii: Senate Bill 2954 was introduced on 1/22/2024 to create an additional $5 transaction fee for any recording with the bureau of conveyances. The funds from this fee will be used to support purchases of hardware, software, design and implementation services, staff training, and other related support services for the improvement of daily operations and automation and the increased efficiency and productivity of the bureau of conveyances.

Hawaii: Senate Bill 3005 was introduced on 1/22/2024 to increase the conveyance tax rates.

New Jersey: Senate Bill 535 was introduced on 1/9/2024 but the text wasn’t available until this week. This bill would eliminate the general purpose, supplemental, and mansion realty transfer fees.

Tennessee: House Bill 2047 was introduced on 1/24/2024 to add former public officials to the list of persons entitled to contest allegedly fraudulent liens on real property. This appears similar to Senate Bill 1646, which was introduced earlier this month.

Tennessee: House Bill 2215 was introduced on 1/25/2024 to address real estate recording. This bill would require county registers of deeds and notaries public to verify the identity of a person recording or notarizing a document relating to certain real estate transactions using a government-issued identification card. The bill would also require such registers and notaries to document and maintain as a permanent record certain personally identifying information of a person recording or notarizing such a document. In addition, the bill specifies penalties for violations by a notary public.

Other items and legislation of interest

Maryland: Senate Bill 534 was introduced on 1/24/2024 and House Bill 611 on 1/25/2024 to repeal the Electronic Transactions Protection Act. The act provides the attorney general with tools and enforcement authority to protect online privacy.

New Hampshire: Senate Bill 255 (2023), which would establish consumer expectations of privacy, passed the House on 1/4/2024 with amendments and the Senate concurred on 1/18/2024. The definition of “consumer” exempts individuals acting in a commercial or employment context. The bill is now pending action by the governor.

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Note that this update provides only a short summary of the listed bills, which are often lengthy and complex. It is not intended to include all potentially relevant provisions of each bill. For full details, please review the bill on the applicable state legislative web site.