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Legislative Developments 5-22-2023

Article 9 and lien-related legislation

Alaska: Senate Bill 119, which would add an identification card issued to a prisoner prior to release from custody to the source of a debtor name under the state’s version of UCC § 9-503(a) and (g), passed the Senate on 5/10/2023 and has since passed the State Affairs Committee in the House.

Montana: The governor signed House Bill 118 on 5/18/2023 to provide that a warrant of distraint for unpaid taxes becomes a statewide lien against all monies of or due to the taxpayer. The new law took effect immediately.

Montana: The governor signed House Bill 477 on 5/18/2023 to have the secretary of state charge a $25 fee for filing a Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) financing statement when the collateral is located within the boundaries of an Indian reservation and is subject to the laws of the governing body of the reservation. The bill also treats entities formed under the law of a federally recognized Indian tribe as foreign entities under state business entity law. The new law took effect immediately.

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

Arizona: Senate Bill 1144, which would have provided that legal tender in the state consists of any medium of exchange authorized by the U.S. Constitution or Congress for the payment of debts, public charges, taxes, and dues, except for central bank digital currency, failed to pass the House following its third reading.

Arizona: Senate Bill 1191, which would provide that escrow disbursements may be made using distributed ledger technology but prohibiting settlement using a central bank digital currency, passed the House on 5/15/2023 and was returned to the Senate for concurrence.

Florida: The governor signed Senate Bill 7054 on 5/12/2023 to address central bank digital currency. This bill adds a definition for “central bank digital currency” to the state’s version of UCC § 1-201 and revises the UCC definition of “money” to exclude central bank digital currency. The new law takes effect on 7/1/2023.

Oregon: The governor signed House Bill 2330 on 5/16/2023 to enact the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act. The new law takes effect on 1/1/2024.

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

New York: Senate Bill 1891, which would establish the New York state cryptocurrency and blockchain study task force, passed the Senate on 5/15/2023. The task force would provide lawmakers with information on the effects of the widespread use of cryptocurrencies and other forms of digital currencies and their ancillary systems, including but not limited to blockchain technology. The bill is now pending in the Assembly Banks Committee.

Texas: House Bill 1666, which would regulate digital asset service providers, passed the Senate as amended on 5/16/2023 and was returned to the House for concurrence. The House concurred on 5/17/2023 and the bill is now pending delivery to the governor. The bill would prohibit a digital asset service provider from commingling customer funds with the digital asset service provider’s own funds. It would also require a digital asset service provider to meet certain reserve requirements, develop certain plans, and make reports to the department of banking. In addition, the bill would require a digital asset service provider to obtain a money transmission license.

Business organization legislation

Delaware: Senate Bill 114, which would make clarifications, technical changes, and other amendments to the General Business Corporations Law, passed the Senate on 5/16/2023 and is pending in the House.

Texas: House Bill 3768, which would authorize the formation of decentralized unincorporated associations, passed the House on 5/12/2023. The bill would also (i) define “digital asset” and “smart contract” for purposes of the business organizations code; (ii) provide that a signature requirement is satisfied by submission of a blockchain that contains the signature or verifies the intent of the person; and (iv) provide that a company agreement may be composed of computer code and be maintained on a blockchain or distributed ledger technology under certain conditions.  The bill is now pending in the Senate.

Washington: The governor signed Senate Bill 5004 on 5/11/2023 to make several changes to the state Business Corporation Act. The new law takes effect on 7/23/2023.

Notary legislation

Alabama: Senate Bill 322 was introduced on 5/16/2023 to make several changes to the laws regulating notaries. The bill would (i) increase the application fee for a notary commission from $10 to $100; (ii) expand the grounds for which an application for commission may be denied; (iii) prohibit a notary from performing notarial acts in some situations; (iv) require a prospective notary to complete a training program; (v) increase the bond amount from $25,000 to $50,000; (vi) provide requirements for certain notarial acts; (vii) provide criminal penalties for certain acts; and (viii) increase the fees a notary may charge for notarial acts to $10. The bill was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Colorado: The governor signed Senate Bill 153 on 5/17/2023 to extend the sunset provision for the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts by nine years from 9/1/2023 until 9/1/2032. The bill also makes changes to the statutory fees for notarial acts and other changes regarding certificates and interpreters. The new law takes effect on 9/1/2023.

New York: Assembly Bill 7241 was introduced on 5/15/2023 to exempt from recordkeeping and reporting requirements any act of a notary public related to the designation or nomination of candidates. The bill was assigned to the Assembly Judiciary Committee. This appears similar to Senate Bill 6207, which was introduced in early April.

New York: Senate Bill 6967 was introduced on 5/16/2023 to amend various state laws to authorize certain meetings and acts to be conducted remotely using audio-visual technology, including remote notarial acts. The bill was assigned to the Senate Banks Committee.

Texas: House Bill 255, which would authorize a notary to record the expiration date of identification documents and would require the secretary of state every five years to adjust the fees a notary may charge based on the inflation rate, passed the Senate on 5/16/2023. The bill is now pending delivery to the governor.

Texas: Senate Bill 1780, which would make changes to online notarization requirements and procedures, passed the House on 5/12/2023. The bill would also establish procedures for online notarization of tangible documents. The bill is now awaiting action by the governor.

Real estate recording-related legislation

Alabama: The governor signed Senate Bill 228 on 5/16/2023 to prohibit the recording of unfair service agreements. The bill (i) prohibits the recording of an unfair service agreement; (ii) provides that a service provider who violates the prohibition is liable to the affected party for statutory damages of $10,000; and (iii) provides remedies for any person with an interest in the real property. The new law takes effect on the first day of the third month after it becomes law, which appears to be 8/1/2023.

Texas: House Bill 219, which would require a mortgagee or mortgage servicer to release a deed of trust or other lien security on a home loan within 60 days of payment or 30 days if followed by written request by the mortgagor, passed the Senate on 5/16/2023. The bill is now pending delivery to the governor.

Wisconsin: Assembly Bill 277 was introduced on 5/17/2023 to reduce the real estate transfer fee from 30 cents to 20 cents per $100 value of the conveyance. The bill was assigned to the Assembly Housing and Real Estate Committee.

Other items and legislation of interest

Texas: House Bill 19, which would create a business court, passed the Senate with amendments on 5/12/2023. The business court would have civil jurisdiction concurrent with district courts for certain actions related to company governance in which the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million and certain actions related to commercial transactions where the amount in controversy exceeds $10 million. The bill was returned to the House for concurrence.


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.