On Wednesday, H.B. 334 was presented in the Senate Judiciary Full committee by Rep. Joseph Gullett (R), Dallas. During the meeting, Lori and I watched a new substitute get presented by Sen. Blake Tillery (R), Vidalia, for the first time. The substitute carved real-estate documents out of the applicability of the bill altogether, requiring the use of a physical and traditional notary, just like wills, estates, and trusts. The committee passed the substitute with a vote of five to four.
Lori went to bat for community banks, testifying in favor of the bill as presented to the committee before the changes were adopted. CBA’s position and concerns remain the same. We support the bill as there is a need for a remote online notarization bill in the event another pandemic were to occur. Remote online notarization is a critical tool that would be needed to keep the economy afloat and allow real estate closings to occur in the event of another pandemic. We acknowledged that the bill as presented by Rep. Gullett did not address all of our concerns, but we urged the committee to vote do pass on the bill as presented by Rep. Gullett and we objected to the amended as presented by Sen. Tillery stripping out real estate documents from the bill. Since the amended bill passed committee, the next stop is Senate Rules and then potentially off to the Senate floor for a vote. If the amended bill passes as it is it is currently drafted, there will likely be only very minimal impact to community banks after all. CBA will continue to remain actively involved with all other stakeholders, and bill sponsors as the bill continues the process. The new substitute bill will be carried in the Senate by Sen. Tillery.
Here is the testimony that Lori gave during the Senate Judiciary meeting:
EVP, Chief of Staff, Government & Regulatory Relations
Government and Regulatory Relations Associate
Legislation CBA is Tracking