Article 9 and Lien-Related Legislation

North Carolina:  House Bill 850 was introduced on 5/5/2021 to provide a lien in favor of an employee for wage claims. Committee assignment is pending.

Ohio: SB 49, which would create a statutory lien against commercial real estate in favor of a registered architect, landscape architect, professional surveyor or professional engineer for services provided under contract, passed the Senate on 5/5/2021.  The bill is now pending in the House.

Oklahoma:  The Senate concurred in House amendments to SB 273 on 5/5/2021.  This bill would require that persons who prepare certain tax lien notices related to personal property must register with the Oklahoma Tax Commission and pay a $50 annual fee.  The bill is now pending delivery to the governor.     

South Carolina: HB 3884, which would provide for electronic submission of certificate of title for watercraft and outboard motors, passed the Senate on 5/4/2021 and is awaiting delivery to the governor.  This bill would also require use of the electronic titling system for dealers and lenders involved in the sale of watercraft and outboards and allow for the electronic retention and discharge of a lien. 

Texas:  HB 3794, which would provide for an oil and gas lien, passed the House on 4/30/2021 and is pending in the Senate.  The bill provides the lien to secure the obligations of a first purchaser to pay the sales price.  Each interest owner has an oil and gas lien to the extent of the interest owner’s interest in oil and gas rights.  The lien would be automatically perfected without the need to file a financing statement or other record.    

Other Uniform Laws Legislation

No developments to report this week.

Emerging Technology Legislation (Blockchain, DLT, Cryptocurrency, etc.)

Arkansas:  The governor signed HB 1926 on 4/30/2021 to define “virtual currency” and clarify what constitutes control of virtual currency for purposes of the UCC.  The bill adds new UCC “Chapter 11 – Virtual Currency of Arkansas” to existing law.  The new law takes effect on the 91st day after the legislature adjourns.     

Iowa: The Senate concurred in House amendments to SB 541 on 5/5/2021.  This bill would amend the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act to clarify that (i) “contract” includes a smart contract or contract using distributed ledger technology; (ii) “electronic record” includes a record secured using distributed ledger technology; and (iii) “electronic signature” includes a signature secured using distributed ledger technology.  The bill is pending delivery to the governor.

New York: Senate Bill 3486 was introduced on 5/3/2021 to provide for a three-year moratorium on cryptocurrency mining to mitigate the effects of such activities on climate change.  The bill would allow cryptocurrency mining operations to operate only after completion of an environmental impact statement. The bill was assigned to the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee. A similar bill was introduced in the Assembly on 5/6/2021 as AB 7389 and was assigned to the Assembly Banks Committee.

Ohio:  HB 177, which would provide that a governmental entity may utilize distributed ledger technology, including blockchain technology, in the exercise of its authority, passed the House on 5/6/2021 and is pending in the Senate.   

Texas:  HB 2199, which would establish the Digital Identity Workgroup, passed the House on 5/4/2021 and is pending in the Senate.  This group shall develop recommendations for the use of digital identity in TX and identify optimal policies and state investments related to digital identity technology. 

Business Organization Legislation

Arkansas: The governor signed SB 601 on 4/30/2021 to adopt the Uniform Limited Liability Company Act and repeal the Small Business Entity Tax Pass Through Act.  The new law takes effect on the 91st day after the legislature adjourns, except for 2 franchise tax provisions that took effect on 5/1/2021.

Iowa: HB 844, which would amend the Iowa Business Corporations Act, passed the Senate on 5/5/2021.  The many amendment provisions include (i) revision of forms and filing fees; (ii) when resignation of a registered agent takes effect; (iii) provisions for domestication and conversion; and (iv) the establishment of benefit corporations.  The bill is now pending delivery to the governor.

Texas:  SB 1523, which would amend limited liability company law to provide for protected series and registered series, passed the House on 4/30/2021 and is now awaiting action by the governor.     

Notary Legislation

Arkansas: The governor signed SB 340 on 4/30/2021 to regulate witnessing requirements for certain documents by a notary in response to the COVID-19 emergency.  The new law took effect immediately.

North Carolina:  House Bill 776 was introduced on 5/4/2021 to adopt the Remote Online Notarization Act.    The bill provides for the qualifications, procedures and other requirements for remote online notarization.  The bill promptly passed the House on 5/6/2021 and is now pending in the Senate.

North Carolina:  SB 172, which would extend the emergency authority for remote notarial acts through the end of 2021, passed the Senate on 5/4/2021 and is pending in the House.  

Real-Estate-Recording-Related Legislation

Arkansas:  The governor signed HB 1824 on 4/30/2021 to clarify when a county recorder may charge additional fees for multiple references to previously recorded documents.  The new law takes effect on the 91st day after the legislature adjourns.   

Other Items/Legislation of Interest

No developments to report this week.

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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.

Legislative Developments 5/07/2021