An hour ago, Amara Enyia, organizer and former Mayoral candidate in Chicago, and a longtime supporter of public banking, who had testified before the Financial Institutions Committee today on the Community Bank of Illinois Act, reported the following to me from Springfield, Illinois:
I'm pleased to announce that with Rep. [Mary] Flowers' leadership, the Public Banking Bill passed out of the Financial Institutions Committee! I was able to present written and oral testimony. It was also instructive hearing the opposition's grounds for testimony. We are well-positioned to refute their claims within the context of how the bank would affect Illinois and the State's economy. After the session, we had good conversations about strategic moves that will continue to advance this. I'm excited about next steps. Thanks everyone and thanks Rep. Flowers for your persistence! It's paying off.
Rep. Flowers recently discussed the potential role of a state bank in ending the cash-only nature of the state's medical marijuana industry. Federal law prohibits banks from taking deposits from marijuana companies. The state bank would obviously have all the other functions of the Bank of North Dakota. Legislative history is here. We'll keep you posted--and you should do the same if you hear any news before we do!