Legislative News

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Legislative News
Legislative News

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  • HB274 will be heard Thursday, May 14th at 1 p.m. Here is some historical background to the bill that might prove interesting.

    This is the same bill that the LNA supported last year.  The bill didn’t make it through the process for lack of time.  This year, the Law Institute has drafted some amendments to deal with implementation of the bill and to ensure that notaries in other states cannot use RON to make authentic acts. The LNA has asked for amendments to include representatives from other notary organizations to ensure a full representation of notary interests in other parts of the state. The bill can be viewed at www.legis.la.gov

    This is for your information only and need not be part of what you share with committee members in any message of support on the bill. This is given only to inform our members about pending amendments.

    Here are some talking points, as shared by our Governmental Legislative Liaison, Alan Jennings, that may assist you in asking the committee members to report the bill favorably with amendments from the Louisiana State Law Institute.  Some reasons to support the bill include:

    • It gives Louisiana citizens the ability to obtain services from their local notary without always having to go to the notary’s office.
    • It enables individuals and businesses to save time.
    • It gives Louisiana notaries the ability to serve their customers using remote notarization so that the customer won’t have to turn to notaries in other states for that service.
    • It will ensure the use of appropriate technology by qualified notaries.
    • It was drafted by a team of Louisiana notaries and lawyers who gave careful attention to maintaining civil law principles affecting the notarial act in Louisiana.

    Please add your own personal reasons and benefits to being a RON state while emphasizing the importance of maintaining our civilian ways.

    As a reminder we urge you to not cut and paste as most legislators pay little attention to this type of emails.

    We want to thank you for showing your active support and hope that these comments and talking points will help you as you contact committee members.

    Thanks for your support.

    Sharon C. Toups

    Louisiana Notary Association

    President


  • SUPPORT HOUSE BILL 274 BY REPRESENTATIVE RAY GAROFALO

    HB 274 will be heard in the House Civil Law Committee on Thursday, May 14th at 1pm.

    This bill is brought upon the recommendation of the Louisiana Law Institute and would put into place a REMOTE ONLINE NOTARIZATION system that EXCLUDES Authentic Acts.  The LNA has joined other stakeholders to develop these Law Institute recommendations and help Louisiana handle remote online notarizations in a responsible manner.  

    We have a large, relatively new House Civil Law Committee. This is our opportunity to educate the committee about notaries public and the importance of our role in the Louisiana Civil Law tradition.

    Join in this process and please send an email to House Civil Law Committee members letting them know you support HB 274:

    Rep. Greg Miller (Chair) - millerg@legis.la.gov

    Rep. Mike Johnson (Vice Chair) - hse027@legis.la.gov

    Rep. Beryl Amedee - amedeeb@legis.la.gov

    Rep. W. Carter - hse034@legis.la.gov

    Rep. R. Carter - carterr@legis.la.gov

    Rep. Phillip Devillier - devillierp@legis.la.gov

    Rep. Michael Echolls - hse014@legis.la.gov

    Rep. Julie Emerson - emersonj@legis.la.gov

    Rep. Larry Fremin - hse074@legis.la.gov

    Rep. Valerie Hodges - hodgesv@legis.la.gov

    Rep. Patrick Jefferson - jeffersonpo@legis.la.gov

    Rep. Sam Jenkins - jenkinss@legis.la.gov

    Rep. Mandie Landry - hse091@legis.la.gov

    Rep. Nick Muscarello - muscarellon@legis.la.gov

    Rep. Thomas Pressly - hse006@legis.la.gov

    Rep. Alan Seabaugh - seabaugha@legis.la.gov

    Rep. Cedric Glover - gloverc@legis.la.gov

  • This is a CALL TO ACTION of ALL LNA MEMBERS

    Senate Bill 472 is being heard tomorrow, Tuesday, May 5th at 3:00p.m. in SENATE JUDICIARY A COMMITTEE

    SB472 is Senator Jay Luneau’s REMOTE ONLINE NOTARY (RON) bill and, if passed, will authorize AUTHENTIC ACTS to be executed by RON. 

    The LNA is opposing the inclusion of Authentic Acts in RON legislation.

    Issues surrounding the inclusion of Authentic Acts in RON have not been vetted and this bill threatens the integrity of the Authentic Act.  The Louisiana Law Institute has only worked on RON EXCLUSIVE of Authentic Act and this has resulted in HOUSE BILL 274 which is a responsible way of addressing Remote Online Notary issues.

    We must spread the word. You can submit testimony in opposition to the bill by emailing romek@legis.la.gov

    You can also attend and testify if you follow the attached guidelines for entering the capitol

    We are strongly encouraging ALL members to call and email the committee members and let them know of your opposition to this bill.  Contact info is as follows:

     

    BILL AUTHOR:

    Jay Luneau, 318.484.2288, luneauj@legis.la.gov

     

    Senate Judiciary A:

    Barrow Peacock, 318.741.7180, peacockb@legis.la.gov

    Jimmy Harris, 504.243.1960, harrisj@legis.la.gov

    Heather Cloud, 337.461.2595, sen28@legis.la.gov

    Cleo Fields, 225.342.9514, cfields@legis.la.gov

    Jay Luneau, 318.484.2288, luneauj@legis.la.gov

    Patrick McMath, 985.900.6278, sen11@legis.la.gov

    Robert Mills, 318.371.5200, sen36@legis.la.gov

    Please take this extra time you may have and put it to good use!  Protect our Civil Law Notary Commission; YOUR Civil Law Notary Commission.

    Respectfully

    Sharon Toups, President

    Louisiana Notary Association


  • 04/20/2020

    On March 29, 2020, the Louisiana Notary Association board of directors issued a statement about our governor’s remote-online-notary authorization. We addressed three areas of concern: (1) the absence of the necessary security and party-privacy provisions; (2) the absence of regulations concerning the platforms on which these specialized notarial services could be performed; (3) the doubtful legality of the authorization.

    On April 7, 2020, the LNA’s lobbyist and its governmental affairs liaison met with the secretary of state and the governor’s executive council to discuss these concerns. As a result of that conversation, we agreed to consider assisting the governor by offering some guidelines dealing with our first two concerns while agreeing to disagree about the legality of the governor’s authority to create new law under the provisions of the statutes governing the proclamation.

    It is our goal with this statement to provide guidance for Louisiana notaries who choose to assist their constituents through remote online notary services.


  • 3/29/2020

    To our LNA Members:

    It has become quite obvious that this is a new day, a new chapter in the lives of the LOUISIANA NOTARY as we know it.

    Over the weekend minds have been on overload about what to do with the newest proclamation concerning civil law notaries that was issued by our Governor. Some of you may not even be aware of it as yet.

    Our positioned Liaison, Alan Jennings, and our Lobbyist, Scott Kirkpatrick, have been hard at work on behalf of our organization making every attempt they could to keep me, as your President, in the loop of communications. It has been a maddening weekend to say the least.

    There has been an announcement made, with unanimous board support, that I would like to share with our members.

    Keep Safe & Healthy!

    Sharon C. Toups
    President


  • Louisiana Notary Association Board of Directors – March 26, 2020

    Louisiana citizens and notaries are navigating uncharted territories these days with the onset of the Coronavirus and our governor’s stay at home order to combat the spread of the COVID 19 disease. Governor Edwards is taking aggressive measures to “flatten the curve” of this pandemic. We have been asked for guidance on how the order affects the office of notary in Louisiana and the notary’s public service to his or her constituents.

    Questions we have been asked

    As a result of the March 22 COVID-19 Stay at Home order, two main questions have arisen:

    1. Under this order, must Louisiana notaries public close their offices and cease providing notarial services?
    2. Are Louisiana notaries public deemed essential workers and thus under an obligation to remain open and available to serve their constituents?

    Members of your board have assembled answers to these questions and some additional information that you might find helpful. First, the questions and answers:

    Q: Must I temporarily close my notary office and cease providing notary services?
    A: No

    The governor’s order does not include notaries in the temporary close orders. The order, however, provides that we still must “reduce operations to continue with minimum contact with members of the public and essential employees, while requiring proper social distancing and adhering to the 10-person limitation on gathering size.”

    Notaries who operate other businesses may be covered in the temporary close order. In those cases, you might be required to temporarily close the business operation. But as to the operation of your notary office, no, there is no order to close your notary office. Only the requirement that you adhere to the requirements cited above.

    Q: Am I deemed an essential worker, and am I under an obligation to remain open and available to serve my constituents?
    A: Yes and No.

    On March 16, official updated Coronavirus Guidance for America issued by the President stated,

    If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.

    Then, on March 22, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, in his Memorandum to the Financial Services Sector, wrote

    The Financial Services Sector is identified as a Critical Infrastructure Sector by the Department of Homeland Security. The Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce for the financial services sector includes workers who are needed to process (and maintain systems for processing) financial transactions and services, such as payment, clearing, and settlement services...

    "Helping out" means helping people not get hurt

    Even in the best of times, notaries are too often asked to “Help me out here” when individuals may not be able to be physically present before the notary, or may not have satisfactory identification credentials in their possession for one reason or the other.

    These days, there could be more of that. Mama might not be available to sign the will or power of attorney.

    Hold true to your oath. Your job is not to “help somebody out” unless you’re telling the gospel truth when you sign your name. Always read the entirety of what you sign. If what you’re certifying is not true, don’t sign it. If you don’t know for sure that Fred is really Fred, don’t certify that Fred was there. And certainly, no matter how well you know Fred, if he isn’t present before you when signing, don’t say he was and that he did.

    Clearly, where a notary is involved in financial services and settlement transactions, he or she is deemed an essential worker. Notaries so situated have a “special responsibility to maintain their normal work schedule.”

    No notary, however, is under any obligation to subject him- or herself to personal risk to serve constituents. Nothing short of a court order can require you to perform a notarial function. If you choose to remain open to serve your community in your official capacity, we urge that you read carefully the newly released federal and state guidelines on COVID-19 to learn how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you’re sick. These guidelines, along with a little common sense, will help you avoid risking the health of yourself and others should you decide to provide notary services in your community.

    In summary

    You are a public official. You are not prohibited by the Governor’s order from performing your public functions. In some cases, where some essential service needs a notary, your work is considered an essential service. You are not, however, obligated to put yourself at risk to provide notary services. Should you decide to provide notarial services to your community, please commit yourself to healthy safe practices. Do your part to help contain this pandemic and avoid becoming one of its statistics.

    Additional information you may find helpful

    Below we offer you some helpful tidbits of information related to the current state of affairs

    Nursing homes and hospitals closed to visitors

    Nursing homes and hospitals are closed to visitors. You might not be able to enter a facility to serve a constituent. If you are allowed to enter a facility, you should take the same personal safety precautions as the healthcare workers employed there.

    Clerks of Court – record by mail

    Clerks of Court are requesting that documents submitted for recording be transmitted to them by mail or via electronic platforms where available. Some filings may be made by fax with originals being transmitted within certain time limits.

    Secretary of State

    The secretary of state’s office is closed for walk-in service. You are encouraged to use the geauxBIZ.com portal for assistance and filings.

    Department of Wildlife & Fisheries

    The Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries office is closed.

    Office of Motor Vehicles

    All Office of Motor Vehicle offices and Public Tag Agencies are closed. For the duration of the closure, licensing and registration requirements remain waived

    • Late fees for driver’s license which expire between March 9, 2020 through May 10, 2020, are suspended until May 20, 2020.
    • Penalties and interest due on state and local sales and use taxes collected by the Office of Motor Vehicles which began on or after March 9, 2020 are suspended and are waived until June 19, 2020.
    • The three-day period mandated in LA R.S. 32:863.1 to appear at an Office of Motor Vehicle field office for a notice of violation served on or after March 9, 2020 but before May 10, 2020, is suspended until May 13, 2020.
    • The expiration date of temporary registration plates issued pursuant to LA R.S. 47:519 and La. R.S. 47:519.2 which expired on or before March 9, 2020 is suspended until May 10, 2020.
    • The expiration date of license plates issued pursuant to LA R.S. 47:462 which expired on or after March 9, 2020 but before May 10, 2020 is suspended until May 10, 2020.
    • The notice of default issued pursuant to LA R.S. 32:429.4 that would be issued on or after March 9, 2020 and before May 15, 2020 is suspended, and the notices will not be issued until after May 15, 2020.
    • The expiration date of an apportioned registration issued under the International Registration Plan which expires March 9, 2020 is suspended and the expiration date is extended to May 10, 2020.
    • The period to request an administrative hearing submitted to the Department pursuant to LA R.S. 32:667, LA R.S. 32:863, LA R.S. 863.1 and LAC Title 55, Part III, Chapter 1, §159 which expired on or after March 9, 2020 but before May 10, 2020 are suspended and extended until June 10, 2020.
    • The sixty-day delay for the Department to submit the administrative hearing record to the Division of Administrative Law pursuant to LA R.S. 32:667(D)(1) for an arrest which occurred on or after March 9, 2020 but before May 10, 2020 is extended until August 8, 2020.
    • The expiration date of driver's licenses which expire on or after March 9, 2020, but on or before May 10, 2020, is suspended and the expiration date is extended to May 20, 2020.
    • Extend the expiration of temporary driver’s license issued pursuant La R.S. 32:667A which were issued on or after March 9, 2020 through May 10th, 2020 until June 9th, 2020.
    • All students who enroll in a driver’s education course after March 9, 2020 shall be allowed to begin the driver’s education course without the issuance of the temporary instructional permit until May 10, 2020.
    • Any suspension with the official notice of withdrawal issued on or after Feb 17, 2020 but before May 10, 2020 shall remain in pending until June 9, 2020.

  • HB514 (Remote Notarization bill) has been scheduled to be heard on the House floor tomorrow, May 23, 2019.

  • The House Civil Law and Procedure Committee met this morning to hear testimony on HB514 (Remote Notarization). Below is a link to a recording of this committee meeting:

    http://house.louisiana.gov/H_Video/VideoArchivePlayer.aspx?v=house/2019/may/0520_19_CL

    Committee Chairman Ray Garofalo introduced 4 amendments to the bill (see attached amendments as well as the original text) which were added without objection by the committee. The bill, as amended, will allow ALL regularly commissioned notaries to perform remote notarizations (subject to rules promulgated by the Secretary of State) when physically located within their current jurisdiction. The Louisiana Notary Association worked closely with the Secretary of State to modify the bill and remove the "statewide jurisdiction only" requirement. Other amendments included changing of the deadline for promulgation of rules by the Secretary of State from August 1, 2020 to February 1, 2021, along with changing of the effective date of the Act from August 1, 2020 to February 1, 2021.

    HB514 cleared the Civil Law Committee (as amended) without objection. The bill will move next to the House floor for debate. We will update you as new information becomes available.

    Attachments:

    HB514OriginalText.pdf HB 514 Original Text

  • Q: What about a document that needs witnesses, do they have to be with the notary?

    A: No, under HB514 as filed, witnesses do not have to be  in the physical presence of the notary at the time of the remote notarization, they can be located anywhere.


  • Q: Will the notary be required to keep a journal, a printed copy or electronic record of the remote notarization?

    A: Yes, under HB514 as filed, the notary involved in the remote notarization transaction will retain a record, or cause to have retained a record, of the remote notarization transaction for a period of ten years.  The Louisiana Secretary of State stakeholders committee will assist in the drafting of the policy that will govern record retention of a remote notarization.