Image courtesy the California Public Banking Alliance.
California State Senators Mike McGuire and Steven Bradford recently chaired an informational hearing on public banking titled “A State Bank? There Is Interest, But Does It Make Cents?”, held for the Senate Committees on Governance and Finance and on Banking and Financial Institutions. Testimony supporting legislation for a state public bank was offered by financial professionals and community advocates. The hearing followed the Governance and Finance Committee’s consideration of AB 310, introduced in August 2020, which did not advance from the Committee. The bill is expected to be reintroduced in 2021.
The State Public Bank’s coauthor, Assemblymember Miguel Santiago emphasized that it was urgent to “reimagine a financial system that puts the public good before profit.” Assemblymember and coauthor David Chiu, explained that a state public bank “could keep the people’s financial power in our state to ensure that we are jump-starting our state’s economic recovery to catalyze the development of local financial institutions in their communities, providing infrastructure, capital, and support.”