AUGUSTA - Fifteen Senate Republicans flipped from their initial support of a bill that prohibits financial institutions and creditors from mailing unsolicited loan offers known as “live” checks to small businesses and upheld Gov. LePage’s veto.
“When the governor vetoed the bill, he said it was because this practice was ‘likely prohibited’. That is not good enough for me. I don’t buy it. Either it is or it isn’t prohibited,” said Democratic State Senator Linda Valentino of Saco, the sponsor of the bill. “This is a measure that would have helped our small businesses like our sole proprietors. It is disappointing that others aren’t sticking with their votes to stand with me in protecting Maine’s businesses.”
The measure received support from the Superintendent of the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection Will Lund and Assistant Attorney General Linda Conti. The state’s Insurance and Financial Services committee voted unanimously in support of the bill, including the committee’s chair, Senator Whittemore who then voted against overriding the governor’s veto.
The bill would have enacted a new provision in the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act prohibiting the use of a solicitation designed to resemble a “negotiable instrument,” including a check, unless the document clearly states on its face that it is not negotiable. Uncharted loan companies would have been prohibited from mailing the solicitations, which have the appearance of an actual check but when cashed by the recipient constitute acceptance of a loan.
Two-thirds or 24 votes is needed to override a veto; however the bill was four votes short of overriding the veto. LD 455, “An Act To Prohibit Deceptive Practices Regarding Negotiable Investments,” is now dead.
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