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CSG Includes Three Uniform Acts as "Suggested State Legislation"

(December 15, 2015) -

Uniform Law Commission
111 N. Wabash Ave., Suite 1010, Chicago, IL  60602
312-450-6600, www.uniformlaws.org

Contact:   Katie Robinson, ULC Communications Officer, krobinson@uniformlaws.org

For Immediate Release:

COUNCIL OF STATE GOVERNMENTS INCLUDES THREE UNIFORM ACTS
AS “SUGGESTED STATE LEGISLATION”

December 15, 2015 – Three uniform acts were recently approved for inclusion in the Council of State Governments’ (CSG) “Suggested State Legislation” compilation at the CSG’s 2015 National Conference in Nashville, TN.  The Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act, the Uniform Electronic Recordation of Custodial Interrogations Act, and the Uniform Business Organizations Code, Articles 1 through 5 – all included as “suggested state legislation” – were drafted and approved by the Uniform Law Commission (ULC).

The Uniform Electronic Recordation of Custodial Interrogations Act (UERCIA) addresses difficult problems that accompany interrogations conducted by law enforcement officials.  These issues include false confessions and frivolous claims of abuse that ultimately waste court resources.  By requiring law enforcement to electronically record custodial interrogations, the Act promotes truth-finding, judicial efficiency, and further protects the rights of law enforcement and those under investigation.  The Act is carefully drafted to avoid undue burdens and technical pitfalls for law enforcement officials and prosecutors.  The Act does not require law enforcement to make recordings that are unfeasible or that would endanger confidential informants, nor does it punish law enforcement for equipment failures.  A uniform statute governing the electronic recordation of custodial interrogations will provide consistent rules between the states improve the administration of justice.  UERCIA was approved by the ULC in 2010, and has been enacted in two states.

The Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act (URPTODA) allows an owner of real property to pass the property simply and directly to a beneficiary on the owner’s death without probate.  The property passes to the beneficiary by means of a recorded transfer on death (“TOD”) deed.  During the owner’s lifetime, the beneficiary of a TOD deed has no interest in the property and the owner retains full power to transfer the property or to revoke the deed.  On the owner’s death, the property passes to the beneficiary, much like the survivorship feature of joint tenancy.  The TOD deed offers many advantages over joint tenancy, however.  Because the TOD deed does not convey immediate ownership to the beneficiary, the property is not subject to partition or to the beneficiary’s creditors. The TOD deed remains revocable, allowing the owner to make a different disposition of the property if he or she chooses. This Act provides a straightforward, inexpensive, and reliable means of passing real property directly to a beneficiary.  URTODA was approved by the ULC in 2009, and has been enacted in 14 states.

The Uniform Business Organizations Code harmonizes the numerous uniform business entity acts.  The primary purposes of the new Code are:  (1) to harmonize the language of all of the unincorporated entity laws, and (2) to revise the language of each of those acts in a manner that permits their integration into a single Code of entity laws.  States that choose to adopt this new Code will also have the option of including all of their corporation and non-profit corporation acts within the Uniform Code.  The CSG Committee on Suggested State Legislation included a summary of each article of the code as a legislative note in the SSL compilation.  The UBOC was approved by the ULC in 2011, amended in 2013, and has been adopted in two states.

Further information on each of these Uniform Acts can be found at the ULC’s website at www.uniformlaws.org.  

About “Suggested State Legislation”
Suggested State Legislation (SSL) is a valued series of compilations of draft legislation about topics of current importance to states.  CSG publishes SSL drafts in annual SSL volumes.  The program does not seek to influence the enactment of state legislation, but to compile draft legislation so states can learn from the experience of others.  Legislation submitted to the SSL program is first evaluated by CSG policy experts against the SSL criteria.  This legislation is then split into docket books for consideration by the Committee on Suggested State Legislation. The SSL Committee meets at least twice each year to consider submitted legislation for inclusion in the following year's SSL volume.  The SSL Committee typically reviews approximately 80 pieces of legislation per meeting, voting to include an average of 30 to 40 bills per SSL volume.

SSL Committee members represent all regions of the country.  They are generally legislators, legislative staff and other state governmental officials who contribute their time and efforts to assisting the states in the identification of timely and innovative state legislation.

About the Uniform Law Commission
The Uniform Law Commission is comprised of more than 350 practicing lawyers, governmental lawyers, judges, law professors and lawyer-legislators, who are appointed by each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to research, draft and promote enactment of uniform state laws in areas of state laws where uniformity is desirable and practical.  Now in its 124th year, the ULC has provided states with over 250 uniform acts that help bring clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law.

About the Council of State Governments
The Council of State Governments is the country’s only organization serving all three branches of state government.  CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.

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