Local news outlet NJ Spotlight points out that few people in New Jersey had even heard of Gov-elect Phil Murphy before he jumped into the governor’s race, and the same could be said about one of Murphy’s core proposals: a plan to launch a state-run Public Bank.
Now that he has won, Murphy has a chance to “set off a national revival for state banks, an idea that had its heyday nearly 200 years ago but has been rediscovered amid an era of corporate greed and rising income inequality."
Reporter John Reitmeyer includes quotes from PBI Chair Emeritus Walt McRee and Banking on New Jersey’s Joan Bartl.
"But the idea of creating a public bank in New Jersey did not originate with Murphy’s campaign. In fact, Princeton resident Joan Bartl had already been talking up the idea locally, along with Walt McRee, national chairman for the nonprofit Public Banking Institute. Both attended Murphy’s election-night party at the Asbury Park Convention Hall to celebrate his victory.
'They did their homework and we fed them information about national developments and local applications that could significantly improve New Jersey’s fiscal standing from pension funds to infrastructure to student lending,' said McRee, who now leads an organization called Banking on New Jersey, along with Bartl.
'His focus on the bank’s ability to serve the many underserved sectors of our state economy and people is an inspiration in itself,' Bartl said. 'There is such need here, and New Jersey is not broke. When we start to examine the possibilities for this bank, people are going to be surprised at what it can do.'"