Article 9 and lien-related legislation
No developments to report this week.
Other uniform laws legislation (includes the 2022 Amendments to the UCC with UCC Article 12–Controllable Electronic Records)
Iowa: Senate Study Bill 1177 was introduced on 2/22/2023 to enact the 2022 Amendments to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), including UCC Article 12–Controllable Electronic Records, and related amendments. If approved in committee, the study bill will be assigned a new bill number and be introduced in the Senate. A similar study bill was introduced in the House the same day as House Study Bill 195. Both study bills were assigned to the Judiciary Committees in their respective chambers.
Kentucky: Senate Bill 64, which would enact the 2022 Amendments to the UCC, passed the Senate on 2/28/2023 and is pending in the House.
Nevada: Assembly Bill 231 was introduced on 3/2/2023 to enact the 2022 Amendments to the UCC, including UCC Article 12–Controllable Electronic Records, and related amendments. The bill was assigned to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
South Dakota: House Bill 1193, which would enact the 2022 Amendments to the UCC, passed the Senate on 3/1/2023 and is pending delivery to the governor.
Emerging technology legislation (blockchain, distributed ledger technology, cryptocurrency, etc.)
Florida: House Bill 1287 was pre-filed on 3/1/2023 to establish a universal regulatory sandbox, which would allow businesses, under the observation of regulators, to trial innovative products, services, and business models, including those based on blockchain or other emerging technology, while temporarily receiving a waiver or suspension of inapplicable laws or regulations. Senate Bill 1390, which appears identical, was also pre-filed on 3/1/2023. Committee assignment is pending introduction for both bills.
Montana: Senate Bill 178, which would protect both business and home digital asset mining, passed the Senate on 2/28/2023. This bill would (i) prohibit utilities from charging higher energy rates for digital asset mining operations; (ii) prohibit local governments from imposing additional taxes on digital assets used as payment; and (iii) limit a local government’s power to prohibit digital asset mining or impose additional requirements on such operations. Committee assignment is pending in the House.
Nevada: Senate Bill 165 was introduced on 2/16/2023 to create the Emerging Technologies Task Force, which would be tasked to develop strategies to ensure the state is a technological leader in emerging technologies, eliminate barriers to emerging technology businesses in the state, and incorporate blockchain into all levels of government. The bill was assigned to the Senate Government Affairs Committee.
Rhode Island: House Bill 5836 was introduced on 3/1/2023 to adopt the Rhode Island Economic Growth Blockchain Act. This bill would regulate virtual and digital assets and establish depository banks for these purposes. The bill was assigned to the House Corporations Committee.
Rhode Island: House Bill 5844 was introduced on 3/1/2023 to establish a regulatory sandbox program for innovative products and services, including those using blockchain technology. The bill was assigned to the House Corporations Committee.
Texas: Senate Bill 1205 was introduced on 2/24/2023 to provide for review and guidance of state agency information technology modernization plans, including for the use of blockchain and distributed ledger technology. Committee assignment is pending.
Utah: House Bill 289, which would create a registry for non-custodial blockchain companies in the state, passed the Senate on 2/28/2023 and is pending delivery to the governor.
Utah: House Bill 470, which originally would have adopted the Government Digital Verifiable Electronic Records Act, passed the House as substituted on 2/24/2023. The substitute bill deleted a provision that would have established a commission to research and develop standards for government-issued digital verifiable credentials and records. The substitute bill would require the Division of Technology Services to provide recommendations to government entities regarding digital verifiable records and credentials, plus create a pilot program for digital verifiable credentials. The bill is now pending in the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee.
Wyoming: Senate Bill 76, which would provide for the registration of digital assets, passed the House as amended on 3/1/2023 and was returned to the Senate for concurrence. The bill provides for registration of digital assets with the secretary of state. Upon registration, such digital assets shall be deemed located in the state for purposes of the state’s laws which may impact ownership rights of the digital asset or require transfer of the digital asset. The Senate refused to concur on 3/2/2023 so the bill was sent to conference committee. The conference committee report was adopted by both chambers the same day, so the bill is now pending delivery to the governor.
Wyoming: Senate Bill 127, which would adopt the Wyoming Stable Token Act, passed the House on 3/1/2023 as amended and was returned to the Senate for concurrence. The Senate concurred the same day. The bill would create the Wyoming stable token commission; provide for the issuance of Wyoming stable tokens, which shall be redeemable for one U.S. dollar held in trust by the state of Wyoming and shall only be issued in exchange for dollars; and provide that all stable token funds held by the state shall be invested in U.S. treasury bills. The bill is now pending delivery to the governor.
Business organization legislation
Rhode Island: House Bill 5839 was introduced on 3/1/2023 to make numerous technical amendments to the statutes on taxes and corporations, associations, and partnerships. The bill was assigned to the House Corporations Committee.
Utah: House Bill 357, which would adopt the Decentralized Autonomous Organizations Act, passed the Senate with amendments on 3/1/2023. The House concurred the same day. The bill would (i) establish the requirements of a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) to be recognized by the state; (ii) establish the purposes for which a DAO may be formed; and (iii) establish the membership requirements and rights of members of DAOs. The bill is pending delivery to the governor.
Wyoming: The governor signed SB 75 on 2/27/2023 to amend the state’s corporations law with respect to decentralized autonomous organizations. The bill provides for a publicly available identifier to identify a smart contract. The new law takes effect on 7/1/2023.
Georgia: Senate Bill 265 was introduced on 2/27/2023 to provide that certain notarial acts may be performed electronically and to provide for remote notarization. The bill was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Georgia: Senate Bill 271 was introduced on 2/27/2023 to authorize the Georgia Superior Court Clerks Cooperative Authority to establish technical standards for in-person electronic execution of notary certificates. The bill would also authorize notaries public to electronically execute notarial certificates in-person in conformance with such standards. The bill was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Iowa: House Bill 484 was introduced on 2/28/2023 to provide that a notary has assurance of the identity of a remotely located individual if any one of three criteria are met. The bill also would provide that a notary is not required to use a third-party identity proofing service to verify the identity or credentials of a remotely located individual. The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.
Massachusetts: House Bill 57 was introduced on 2/28/2023 to authorize and regulate electronic and remote notarization. The bill passed the House on 3/1/2023 and is pending in the Senate.
New Mexico: Senate Bill 246, which would amend the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA), passed the Senate on 3/2/2023. The amendments provide for “automatic notarial officers” who are judicial officers, county clerks, and licensed attorneys. The bill would make various other clarifications and changes, including to provisions regarding personal appearances, the official stamp, and other notary regulation matters. The bill is now pending in the House.
United States: House Bill 1059, which would enact the SECURE Act, passed the House on 2/27/2023 and was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The SECURE Act would (i) authorize notaries public to perform, and to establish minimum standards for, electronic notarizations and remote notarizations that occur in or affect interstate commerce; (ii) require any Federal court to recognize notarizations performed by a notarial officer of any State; and (iii) require any State to recognize notarizations performed by a notarial officer of any other State when the notarization was performed under or relates to a public Act, record, or judicial proceeding of the notarial officer’s State, or when the notarization occurs in or affects interstate commerce.
Real estate recording related legislation
Arizona: Senate Bill 1110, which would require that a county recorder provide a system for notifying a property owner whenever any document is recorded against the owner’s property, passed the Senate on 3/1/2023 and is pending in the House. The notification system would be voluntary for the property owner and the notice would be provided by email, text message, or similar means.
Georgia: House Bill 444, which would repeal and replace certain sections of state law applicable to lis pendens, passed the House on 2/27/2023 and was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill would expressly require clerks to record lis pendens.
Idaho: House Bill 238 was introduced on 2/28/2023 to adopt the Unfair Service Agreements Act. The bill would prohibit the recording of unfair service agreements and to provide remedies for a person with an interest in the property subject to such agreement. Committee assignment is pending.
Iowa: House Bill 475 was introduced on 2/27/2023 to prohibit unfair service agreements for residential real property. The bill would allow a county recorder to refuse to record an unfair service agreement. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate the same day as Senate Bill 417. Committee assignment is pending for both bills.
Iowa: House Bill 551 was introduced on 3/2/2023 to allow the governing board of the county land record information system to enter into an agreement for access to electronic documents on a batch basis only if authorized by statute. The bill would also require the governing board to establish policies and procedures for minimum limitations on usage, authentication of users, and the prohibition of unauthorized uses, including a prohibition on access to the system from outside the U.S. The bill also would authorize the governing board to provide for bulk access to electronic groundwater hazard documents and aggregated anonymous data. Committee assignment is pending.
Kentucky: Senate Bill 280 was introduced on 2/21/2023 and includes a provision regarding a requirement that clerks provide and maintain a portal that allows a person to electronically file any recorded instrument by June 30, 2023. The provision delays the effective date of that requirement until January 1, 2024. The bill was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Montana: Senate Bill 330 was introduced on 2/13/2023 to provide that a county clerk, in the role of recorder, shall accept electronic notarizations completed in accordance with the state’s version of the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts. The bill was assigned to the Senate Local Government Committee.
Oregon: House Bill 2029, which would increase the minimum font size on documents presented for recording with a county clerk from 8 point to 10 point, passed the Senate on 3/1/2023 and is pending delivery to the governor.
Utah: House Bill 351, which would create the County Recorder Standards Board, passed the Senate as amended on 3/1/2023. The House concurred in the Senate amendments the same day. The Standards Board would establish statewide standards for county recorders in relation to the protection and submission of documents. The bill would require a county recorder to comply with the board’s rules. The bill is now pending delivery to the governor.
Utah: Senate Bill 228, which would require an individual who presents for recording a document transferring nonresidential property to file an affidavit disclosing information about the sale of the property, passed the Senate on 2/24/2023 and is pending committee assignment in the House. The information in such affidavit, which must include the sales price, would be subject to confidentiality protections as commercial information. County recorders would be prohibited from recording the affidavit.
Washington: House Bill 1420, which would address priority, passed the House on 2/28/2023. The bill would clarify that any mortgage or deed of trust shall have priority over all liens, mortgages, deeds of trust, and other encumbrances that have not been recorded before the recording of the mortgage or deed of trust to the extent of all sums secured by the mortgage or deed of trust regardless of when the same are disbursed or whether the disbursements are obligatory. The bill is not intended to repeal any statute that expressly provides for special priority over mortgages or deeds of trust. The bill is now pending in the Senate Law and Justice Committee.
Other items/legislation of interest
Hawaii: House Bill 964, which would increase the fee for each apostille or non-apostille certification to $10, passed the House on 3/2/2023 and is pending in the Senate.
Texas: House Joint Resolution 124 was introduced on 2/22/2023 to propose a constitutional amendment that would delete the requirement that a home equity loan be closed only at the office of the lender, an attorney at law, or a title company. Committee assignment is pending.
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.