The state of Alaska joins Michigan and New Jersey in the growing circle of states formally working to establish a Public Bank as Rep Chris Tuck and Rep Scott Kawasaki introduce HB 376. The bill has been referred to the Labor and Commerce, and Finance Committees.
A compelling press release published in Alaska Business magazine quotes the co-sponsors:
“A state bank would offer Alaskans new opportunities to invest in themselves. Too many Alaskans who have the dream, desire and drive are denied bank loans and cannot access credit. This bank can help Alaskans build their own local business.”
“A state bank will allow us to control our own economic destiny by investing in industrial development to create value-added industries from our resources. This will create physical wealth for our state and insulate us from the swings of the banking markets, which can hinder us from necessary development.”
The press release continues:
Profit from Bank of Alaska loans would be deposited into the general fund annually and would be available to be reinvested in the bank with a vote from the Alaska Legislature. The Bank of Alaska would be able to raise revenue while helping Alaskans develop and improve their small businesses.
The benefits of a state bank could include the creation of more small businesses, increased diversification of the economy, the creation of new jobs, decreased state financial costs, and reduced reliance on out of state banking services.