Friday, March 28, 2008

Rep Cabanilla wants Money Transmitter bill shelved

Rep. Rida Cabanilla today issued a news release calling for SB3009 to be killed. The bill, according to Cabanilla is "supported by big American banks and money institutions who charge huge transmitting fees even for small transmissions of money."

SB3009 amends the Money Transmitters Act, Chapter 489D, Hawaii Revised Statutes. It increases the fee structure and enhances consumer protection. The Representative, however, contends that the increase is unaffordable to small businesses, and that those who would be hurt most are Filipino immigrants who have limited income. These immigrants "have relatives in the old country who are living hand to mouth and frequently send money to their families back home."

Of the $700 million remitted out of Hawaii annually overseas, about $450 million, or about 2/3rds is going to the Phillippines. Rep. Cabanilla concludes in her release that the bill is "a thinly veiled excuse to create a monopoly by big jack up their fees."

The bill passed out of House Finance with amendments on 3/26 with none voting no and appears headed for conference.

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