CFI Standing Committee 2021 Newsletter

8/17/2021

Newsletter

The CFI Committee Newsletter is an information service of the NCSL Communications, Financial Services and Interstate Commerce Committee. Published monthly, the newsletter tracks communications, financial services and interstate commerce news in the states and across the federal government.

Current Issue

In the 2021 legislative session, 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have introduced at least 175 bills addressing funding for broadband, including nine states which have allocated federal recovery funds for broadband through legislation. This brief provides examples of how states are using state and federal monies for broadband.

Expanding high-quality, fully reliable home internet service for all Americans (“universal access”) would raise earnings-weighted labor productivity by an estimated 1.1% in the coming years, translating to $160 billion per year in economic gains.

To illustrate the ways states are utilizing their American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocations, NCSL created a database detailing state actions. This database provides up-to-date, real-time information in the 50 states on housing, mortgage assistance, broadband and others, updated daily.

NCSL Resources
July 22 | State Laws Related to Digital Privacy
July 21 | Broadband 2021 Legislation
July 15 | Statewide Cybersecurity Task Forces
July 12 | State Fair Debt Collection Practices Acts

July

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently released its spring 2021 rulemaking agenda, listing the regulatory matters the bureau is pursuing to protect consumers, including expanding disclosure of mortgage data and strengthening debt collection protections. It also details the CFPB’s efforts to protect consumers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

State governments, Congress and the administration must work together to provide much needed infrastructure investments to eliminate public safety hazards, increase business productivity and job creation, and improve overall quality of life for U.S. citizens. As infrastructure is a top state budget and policy priority, states stand ready to work with Congress and the administration as the plan moves forward.

States will keep regulatory control over certain loans after the U.S. House of Representatives followed the Senate last week in repealing a regulatory rule that would have allowed financial technology lenders to partner with banks and ultimately avoid state banking laws.

The Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration agreed to coordinate the distribution of federal funds for broadband deployment. The agencies will consult with one another and share information about the distribution of new funds from the FCC’s programs supporting broadband build-out in rural areas, the USDA’s Rural Utilities Services grant and loan programs, and programs administered or coordinated by NTIA.

NCSL Resources
June 22 | Cybersecurity Legislation 2021
June 16 | Statewide Cybersecurity Task Forces
June 16 | State 9-1-1 Bill Tracking Database
June 11 | Payday Lending 2021 Legislation
June 9 | Open Container and Consumption Statutes
June 2 | Business Interruption Insurance 2021 Legislation

June

Negotiations on the federal infrastructure package continue, with President Joe Biden signaling agreement with a Republican counteroffer on broadband that reduces the proposed investment from $100 million to $65 million. Democrats and Republicans will still need to find common ground on issues like municipal broadband networks, broadband subsidies and which technologies should be prioritized for investment.

The U.S. Senate voted to repeal a rule adopted by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency last year that sought to clarify partnerships between banks and third-party, nonbank lenders. Opponents said the rule would allow lenders to issue consumer loans that circumvent state interest rate caps.

NCSL’s Task Force on Cybersecurity will meet virtually on Friday, June 18, to discuss recent cyber incidents, get updates from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and cyber governance.

Details on broadband speeds are included in the Treasury Department’s recently released interim final rule providing guidance on allowable uses of American Rescue Plan Act funds.

NCSL Resources
May 21, 2021 | 2021 Security Breach Legislation
May 17, 2021 | Price Gouging State Statutes
May 14, 2021 | Cryptocurrency 2021 Legislation
May 14, 2021 | Cybersecurity Legislation 2021
 

May

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a temporary FCC program to help households struggling to afford internet service during the pandemic. As of May 12, eligible households can enroll in the program to receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider.

A year that saw unprecedented lockdowns and economic slowdowns also saw Bitcoin prices reach new highs, surging nearly 600% since the beginning of 2020 and stirring a movement toward greater acceptance of virtual currencies in the financial world.

NCSL outlines infrastructure priorities with a list that includes transportation and water infrastructure, broadband, and the preservationn of tax-exempt financing.

Explore the status of sports betting legislation across the country and compare licensing fees, tax rates and where sports betting revenue is invested.

NCSL Resources
May 3, 2021 | State 9-1-1 Bill Tracking Database
April 30, 2021 | State Laws Related to Digital Privacy
April 29, 2021 | Financial Literacy 2021 Legislation
April 29, 2021 | Broadband 2021 Legislation