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Texas data breach bill set for House floor debate
AUSTIN, Texas (5/15/09)--The Texas Credit Union League (TCUL) said it helped get a data security breach bill, House Bill 345, out from the state House Calendars Committee, where opponents had tagged the bill in an effort to kill it. TCUL said it accomplished this with the help of House Speaker Joe Straus and targeted credit union grassroots contacts (Lonestar Leaguer May 14). The bill stipulates that merchants have a duty to safeguard the sensitive personal information they collect from plastic cards, the league said. Opponents’ efforts continue. As with the 2007 legislative session, time is the biggest enemy, TCUL said. The bill was set for a second reading this week on the General State calendar, but there are over 100 bills in the queue before it, the league added. If the bill does not get a second reading this week, it is dead, Buddy Gill, TCUL chief advocacy officer, told News Now. “However, there may be some other options after that,” Gill added. The Texas Senate has yet to hear the bill. Media attention on the issue also is increasing. Texas weekly newspapers statewide carried an item by TCUL discussing the problem and the need for legislation. Radio activity also increased, said the league. More than 700 e-mails have been sent to 150 House members in the past few weeks, supporting the measure. TCUL said it may issue a request for grassroots phone calls to House offices in support of H.B. 345 this week once the timing becomes clear on the House floor vote. In March, the Texas House Business & Industry Committee held a hearing on data security breaches and has since worked with stakeholders to negotiate a bill. Texas banking trades joined with the league in publicly supporting the legislation at the March hearing, TCUL said (News Now March 18). In March, Gary Davis, CEO of Chocolate Bayou FCU, Alvin, testified for the league on behalf of a bill, noting the hundreds of thousands of cards compromised at Texas credit unions in a Heartland Payment Systems breach last year.


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