On April 10, the House Commerce Committee heard testimony on HB 4255, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Farrington, R-Utica, a measure that would prohibit merchants from assessing point-of-sale surcharges on credit card transactions. The legislation was introduced in response to a national legal settlement between major credit card brands and retailers that would, as part of its terms, allow the surcharge to recover merchants’ associated transactional costs. The MCUL testified in support of the legislation along with representatives from MSUFCU and Option 1 CU. Although no groups formally opposed the legislation in committee, the tenor of the retail industry was generally negative on the legislation.
Following the initial hearing, the committee and the bill sponsor will continue to review the issue and meet with interested parties on the issue. In the 10 other states that have enacted similar prohibitions, the terms of the legislation vary and offer some exemptions for certain vendors and products, notably government and utility payments or gasoline transactions. Similar considerations may be on the table as conversations on this legislation progress further. MCUL will continue to monitor future hearings on this legislation, as well as similar legislation introduced in the Senate.