Article 9 and Lien-Related Legislation
California: The governor signed AB 1766 on 9/23/2022 to amend the definition of “driver’s license and identification card” set forth in the state’s UCC § 9-503(h). The amended definitions would include an identification card issued to a person who is unable to submit satisfactory proof that the applicant’s presence in the United States is authorized under federal law. The new law takes effect on 1/1/2023.
Other Uniform Laws Legislation
District of Columbia: Bill 1052 was introduced on 10/3/2022 to enact the 2022 Amendments to the UCC, including UCC Article 12 – Controllable Electronic Records. The bill is pending in the Committee of the Whole.
Emerging Technology Legislation (Blockchain, DLT, Cryptocurrency, etc.)
California: The governor signed SB 786 on 9/28/2022 to authorize a county recorder to issue a certified copy of a birth, death, or marriage record by means of blockchain technology. The new law takes effect on 1/1/2023.
New Jersey: AB 1975, which would enact the “Virtual Currency and Blockchain Regulation Act,” passed the Assembly on 10/27/2022 and is pending in the Senate. This bill would establish a regulatory framework for virtual currency businesses to operate in NJ, create provisions governing the use of blockchain with certain business entities, and create certain incentives for virtual currency businesses to locate in the State. The bill provisions include (i) perfection of a security interest in digital assets by control; (ii) authorization for banks to provide custodial services for digital assets; (iii) provides for the formation of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) under the state’s LLC laws; (iv) authorization for the Department of Revenue and Enterprise Services (the state’s central UCC filing office) to create a blockchain filing system; and (v) create incentives for virtual currency businesses. The bill would also allow payment of state taxes using virtual currency.
New Jersey: AB 2371, which would enact the “Digital Asset and Blockchain Regulation Act,” passed the Assembly on 10/27/2022 and is pending in the Senate. This bill would (i) define “digital asset”; (ii) require licensing for those engaged in digital asset business activity; and (iii) give the state department of banking and insurance regulatory authority over digital asset business activities.
New Jersey: Senate Bill 3142 was introduced on 10/3/2022 to establish the Blockchain Promotion and Integration Program. The Program requires the state commission on Science, Innovation and Technology to analyze the state of blockchain and partner with groups representing small business to connect small businesses with the program resources. The bill was assigned to the Senate Commerce Committee.
Business Organization Legislation
California: The governor signed SB 1202 on 9/27/2022 to amend laws related to business entity records filed with the secretary of state. Among numerous other changes, the bill would (i) allow the secretary of state to cancel the filing of certain business records, including articles and conversions, for dishonored payment of the filing fee by check or other remittance with 90 days’ written notice; (ii) prohibit the name of a limited partnership from including the words “insurer” or “insurance company” or any other words suggesting that it is in the business of issuing policies of insurance and assuming insurance risks; (iii) provide that with respect to certain entities a certificate of merger or the agreement of merger has the effect of the filing of a notice of termination for each disappearing entity; and (iv) make other conforming changes to the business entity laws. The new law takes effect on 1/1/2023.
Pennsylvania: HB 2057 (2021), which would make numerous changes to the state’s Corporations and Unincorporated Associations laws, passed the Senate on 10/26/2022 and is awaiting action by the governor. Among other changes, this bill would (i) require business entities to make annual reports to the secretary of state; (ii) provide the permissible methods of delivery for records to the secretary of state; and (iii) provide requirements for names generally.
Pennsylvania: SB 807 (2021), which would amend requirements for registration of a notary’s signature, passed the House on 10/25/2022 and is awaiting consideration by the governor.
United States: House Bill 9192 was introduced on 10/18/2022 to create a grant program for activities related to deed fraud for low income individuals. It will only be available in states that require the party signing a written document to provide a thumbprint in the notary journal or, for electronic instruments, the notary must retain a photo or video of the person signing the document. The bill is pending in the House Financial Services and Judiciary committees.
Michigan: The governor signed HB 4730 (2021) on 10/14/2022 to address the information that a county treasurer must provide upon request regarding real property. The bill modifies the data fields required to be provided in response to a request for transcripts provided by a register of deeds and revises fees.
Other Items/Legislation of Interest
No developments to report at this time.
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.