On February 28, Hawaii’s State House of Representatives passed HB 2628, a bill that would appropriate funds to “conduct a comprehensive review of relevant state laws to develop legislation to establish a state-operated bank of the State of Hawaii.”
The public bank study bill is co-authored by State Rep. Dale Kobayashi who led it through three committees to culminate in a successful House floor vote. Kobayashi, who is a CPA with an MBA from Yale, has spent his career in the global bond markets of Europe and Asia, and was Former Chief Investment Officer of Hawaii’s largest bank, First Hawaiian Bank. His in-depth experience in banking is helping to build legislative expertise around public banking and properly frame the issue. The bill has advanced to the State Senate and now faces its first Senate committees.