Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Credit Card Marketing Bill Passes House

This afternoon, the Ohio House passed HB 12, sponsored by Rep. Matt Lundy (D - Elyria) by a final vote of 69-25. The bill would limit the marketing that a credit card company can conduct on a college campus. The bill received a surprising amount of floor discussion following a lengthy series of meetings with interested parties, including AICUO.

On the floor, several members from each side of the aisle spoke in support of the measure to curb credit card marketing, calling the gift give-aways "eye-candy to students." Rep. Lundy spoke about discussions with public and private campus representatives and other interested legislators, saying that the talks were productive and that common ground had been found. Lundy then offered a floor amendment to remove the prohibition on use of student directories for "for-profit" ventures; to specify that ads intended for the general public in local non-campus newspapers would not violate the legislation; to require that solicitors must not allow students to sign up for credit cards; and to permit required financial literacy courses at public and independent colleges to be conducted either during the first semester of the students' freshman year or orientation as originally provided in the bill.

A handful of Republican legislators stated that they could not support the bill because of its educational requirements for independent campuses.

AICUO participated in the interested-party policy-development process in the run up to floor action, and worked with Rep. Lundy to clarify a few provisions within the bill, specifically the prohibition on usage of student directories. If untouched, that provision would have disallowed campus bookstores to send flyers to students for ANY promotional sales or advertisements, among other significant impacts.

AICUO will continue to follow this bill as it moves over to the Senate for further consideration.

--Dustin A. Holfinger