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Maine committee tables state interchange vote
PORTLAND, Maine (4/18/11)--A Maine legislative committee tabled a vote April 8 on a state interchange bill for three weeks and directed interested parties to participate in a stakeholders’ group meeting held last Friday. At the work session April 8, on LD 1251--An Act To Prevent Credit Card Company Unfair Trade Practices, an anticipated debate and vote by the Insurance & Financial Services Committee did not happen, according to the Maine Credit Union league (Weekly Update April 15). “Many members of the committee seemed inclined to agree with our position so we were cautiously optimistic that the majority of the committee would vote in opposition to the bill,” said Quincy Hentzel, league director of governmental affairs. “Although we were disappointed that no vote occurred, we will continue to work to have this bill defeated.” “Credit unions have done a great job stating our position and communicating our opposition with members of the committee, and we anticipate coordinating additional, aggressive grassroots communications once the work session is rescheduled,” league President John Murphy said. “We intend to continue to outline the significant, negative impact that this legislation would have on credit unions and, ultimately, consumers,” Murphy added. “We have made that clear from the beginning and will remain focused on providing factual information to all parties,” he stated. The league will provide updates on the status of the bill and the date for the work session as soon as information becomes available. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) opposes a proposal in Congress capping interchange fees and has told federal lawmakers that such action would harm consumers by driving up costs of debit cards, limiting consumer options, and harming competition and technological innovation. Interchange fees allow business costs, including the risk of consumer nonpayment, to be shared by the payments participants, CUNA said.


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