Photo by Alex Iby.
New York State has a bill currently making its way through the legislature that establishes a public bank for the Empire State. The Senate version S1778, introduced by State Sen. Luis R. Sepúlveda, has reached the Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Liz Krueger. The Assembly version A437, introduced by Assemblymember Phil Steck, is currently in the Banks Committee, chaired by Kenneth Zebrowski.
The bill is significant in that it would establish a public depository bank for the state of New York. It does not call for a feasibility study or business plan as intermediary steps. It authorizes the proposed bank to make infrastructure loans, student loans, as well as loans for entrepreneurs and to build affordable housing. The bill would create an advisory board appointed by the governor, two members of which would come from a consumer advocacy or social justice organization.