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Car Tent Sales, Financial Literacy Bills Advance in Frankfort

Bill regulating auto ‘tent sales’ clears House

New motor vehicle dealers would have to be licensed and insured if they conduct temporary “tent sales” in another dealer’s market area under a bill that passed the House 92-1 today.

Under House Bill 169, sponsored by House Transportation Committee Chairman Hubert Collins, D-Wittensville, and passed 94-0, new motor vehicle dealers can hold tent sales in that market area if they are licensed, bonded, and insured in the temporary location, Collins said. Dealers who are self-insured would be exempt from the proposed insurance requirements in the bill, he said.

Used motor vehicle dealers would be allowed to hold tent sales in those counties where they are licensed “with no problem,” Collins said.

“For a long time, the automobile dealers have had a problem with dealers coming from other areas and having what they call ‘tent sales’… leaving the dealers there to take care of the warranties and the problems that they caused,” Collins said. “So we are trying to fix that.”

HB 169 now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Financial literacy measure heads to Senate

The House voted 94-0 today to create a state commission that would guide the development and implementation of financial literacy programs in Kentucky.

The 11-member Kentucky Financial Literacy Commission that would be created by House Bill 223, sponsored by Rep. Jim Glenn, D-Owensboro, would fund, develop, implement, and promote financial literacy programs for Kentuckians from elementary school through retirement age.

“I have been teaching personal finance for over 20 years in the community college system. I wrote my doctoral dissertation in finance,” Glenn said. “It’s really a problem inside this state.”

Duties of the group, the bill states, would include offering grants and awards for financial literacy education, distributing financial literacy information, and creating and maintaining an online “clearinghouse” where people could find information on financial literacy publications, grants, and other news. All funds raised by the commission would be placed in a “financial literacy fund” established by the bill.

An amendment to the bill sponsored by Rep. Bart Rowland, R-Tompkinsville, and approved by the House and would add the Independent Insurance Agents of Kentucky to a list of associations that could recommend commission appointees to the Governor. 

HB 223 now goes to the Senate.

Kentucky State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach applauded the bill.

"Advancing financial literacy has been an important focus of my administration and for Representative Jim Glenn and Representative Rita Smart,” Hollenbach said in a statement.  “We have a real opportunity here to help educate Kentucky citizens in making sound financial decisions in the areas of planning, saving, investing, and knowledgeable decision making.”

“This commission would attempt to focus on the four biggest financial areas of concern for Kentucky, while uplifting the financial position of our citizens and therefore our Commonwealth as a whole.” 

According to a news release from the state Treasurer's Office, the bill is rooted in statistics showing a gap in financial literacy among these groups. While 82-percent of parents surveyed  in 2013 by the Kentucky Education Savings Plan stated that they have made saving for their child’s college education a priority, only 51-percent of parents familiar with Kentucky’s 529 savings plan were even aware of the tax benefits associated with utilizing the program.  Further, the fastest growing demographic in declaring bankruptcy is in the age group between 20 – 24, many of whom never budgeted or managed their money as a teen.  Another factor for the rise of bankruptcy in this demographic may come from  the estimated 61 percent of college students who have said they misunderstood or were surprised by aspects of their student loans or the loan process in general, graduating with the highest college loan debt rate seen in our nation’s history.

It is estimated that 25 percent of families who fall into the low income demographic do not have a bank account of any kind. Many describe feeling lost in debt with no knowledge or resources to pull themselves out, and only realized that financial decisions they made where poor decisions after experiencing the effects, the news release said.

Fourteen percent of Kentucky's senior citizens are living in poverty.  In addition, seniors are at a high risk of falling prey to financial scams aimed at their misunderstanding of a Twenty-first century financial system.  The Commission would be a resource to help them navigate the modern financial climate.  It would work to educate, communicate with, and protect our elderly. “We need to safeguard Kentucky seniors in every way possible so that they do not fall prey to those dubious enough to take what little they have, as well as providing tips and tools for living on a fixed income in our changing economy,” Hollenbach said.

The bill is modeled after a similar bill which passed into Tennessee law in 2010.  Since the commission was created in Tennessee, their state has risen to be a national leader in financial literacy, receiving the highest ranking given by The Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College.

“Our neighbor to the south has made tremendous strides toward goals we also seek here in our Commonwealth,” Hollenbach said. “This bill and commission is modeled by their success, and I feel it is only prudent to use a model already proven to be effective in advancing our own state.”

Members of Treasury will be attending a financial literacy summit in April hosted by Tennessee Treasurer Lillard, and speaking with him concerning the most effective ways of implementing a similar Financial Literacy Commission in Kentucky.

“At the beginning of this year, I called on our legislature and citizens to put partisanship aside and join me in a United Kentucky,” said Hollenbach.  “I am still dedicated to that goal, and hope to see the Senate follow the exemplary leadership and foresight that Representatives Glenn and Smart have shown in presenting this bill for the financial health of our Commonwealth and our citizens.”

From the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission & the Kentucky State Treasurer's Office

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