Article 9 and Lien-Related Legislation

Arizona: HB 2617, which would amend the lien law, passed the Senate as amended on 5/10/2021 and the House concurred shortly thereafter. The amended bill now addresses disposition of proceeds from the sale of homestead property subject to a lien and was changed significantly from the original text. The bill is awaiting consideration by the governor.

California: SB 572, which would allow the Labor Commission to create a lien on real property as an alternative to a judgment lien for amounts due from cited parties, passed the Senate on 5/10/2021 and is pending in the Assembly. The lien would be recorded with the county recorder of any county where the cited party has real property.

Georgia: The governor signed HB 480 on 5/10/2021 to amend the mechanics and materialmen lien law. The bill provides a lien for the services of registered interior designers. The new law took effect immediately.

Oklahoma: The governor signed SB 273 on 5/12/2021 to 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 new law takes effect on 1/1/2022.

Other Uniform Laws Legislation

New Jersey: The governor signed AB 3384 on 5/12/2021 to adopt the Uniform Voidable Transfers Act. The new law takes effect 90 days following enactment, which should be 8/10/2021.

South Carolina: House Bill 4390 was introduced on 5/13/2021, to adopt the Uniform Voidable Transfers Act. Committee assignment is pending.

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

Arizona: The governor signed HB 2544 on 5/7/2021 to establish a blockchain and cryptocurrency study committee. The committee will review data on the scope of blockchain and cryptocurrency across the country and compile an overview of potential legislation. The new law takes effect 91 days after enactment, which should be 8/6/2021. The resulting report is due back to the legislature by 12/31/2021.

California: SB 638, which would address corporations’ use of blockchain technology, passed the Senate on 5/10/2021 and is pending in the Assembly. The bill contains provisions that extend the existing authority of a corporation to use blockchain technology for recording shareholder information and stock transfers indefinitely. That authority is otherwise due to expire on 1/1/2022. The bill also redefines “blockchain.”

Nebraska: LB 649, which would adopt the Nebraska Financial Innovations Act, was significantly amended on 5/10/2021 to adopt draft legislation for UCC Article 12 developed by the Uniform Law Commissioners Committee on the UCC and Emerging Technologies. In addition, the bill allows creation of a digital asset depository institution. Such institutions would be formed under the Nebraska Model Business Corporation Act and then chartered and subject to regulation by the Department of Banking and Finance.

New York: Senate Bill 6584 was introduced on 5/7/2021 to the state energy and development authority to conduct a study on powering cryptocurrency mining centers with renewable energy. The bill was assigned to the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee.

Texas: HB 4474, which would address virtual currency matters, passed the House on 5/11/2021 and is pending in the Senate. This bill would (i) define “virtual currency for purposes of UCC § 9-102; (ii) specify the conditions under which a purchaser has control of virtual currency; and (iii) provide the rights of a purchaser who has control of virtual currency.

Business Organization Legislation

No developments to report this week.

Notary Legislation

New York: Assembly Bill 7549 was introduced on 5/13/2021 to authorize notarial acts using audio visual technology under certain conditions. The bill was assigned to the Assembly Governmental Operations Committee.

South Carolina: SB 631, which would enact the State Electronic Notary Act, passed the House on 5/13/2021 and is awaiting delivery to the governor. The bill would (i) set qualifications for electronic notaries; (ii) provide procedures for electronic notarization; and (iii) require the electronic notary to keep a journal.

Texas: HB 1959, which would increase the fees a notary may charge and requires the secretary of state to review such fees and adjust for inflation every five years, passed the House on 5/11/2021 and is pending in the Senate. The bill would also allow a notary to record the expiration date of the document used for identification.

Real-Estate-Recording-Related Legislation

Texas: SB 885, which would specify the effect of recording a quit claim deed on the question of good faith of a subsequent purchaser or creditor and as notice of any unrecorded conveyance, transfer or encumbrance, passed the House on 5/8/2021 and is now pending delivery to the governor.

Vermont: The governor signed HB 199 on 5/6/2021 to address challenges to recorded documents under the emergency notary rules. The bill provides that a power of attorney made for the purpose of conveying, leasing, mortgaging, or affecting any interest in real property that has been acknowledged and signed in the presence of at least one witness shall be valid, notwithstanding its failure to comply with certain statutory requirements or the Emergency Administrative Rules for Remote Notarial Acts adopted by the Vermont Secretary of State, unless within three years after recording, an action challenging its validity is commenced and a copy of the complaint is recorded in the land records of the town where the power of attorney is recorded. The provision does not apply to a power of attorney obtained by fraud or forgery. The new law took effect immediately.

Other Items/Legislation of Interest

Florida: The governor signed HB 35 on 5/7/2021 to authorize web site publication of legal notices under some circumstances and requires government agencies to notify residents concerning alternative legal notice delivery methods. The new law takes effect on 1/1/2022.

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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 5/14/2021