In a remarkably strong start to 2021 legislative sessions, three states — New York, Oregon, and Washington — have introduced new legislation to establish state-owned public banks. In contrast to bills of previous years that aimed to create a task force or call for a feasibility study, all four new bills would start a bank.
New York has two new bills S1055 and A3309, which evolved from two of last year’s. Senate bill S1055 is sponsored by Sen. James Sanders Jr. and is currently in the Senate Finance Committee. It will be discussed in a Town Hall hosted by PBI on Thursday, Jan 28 (see below). Assembly bill A3309 is sponsored by Assembly Member Phil Steck and co-sponsored by 11 other Assembly Members including Joe DeStefano, Inez E. Dickens, Harvey Epstein, and Nathalia Fernandez. It was referred to the Assembly Banks Committee on Jan 21.
Oregon’s Senate Bill SB 339 is sponsored by Sen. Jeff Golden and is currently in the Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue. A related Oregon House Bill, HB 2743, is sponsored by Rep. Khanh Pham, Sen. Michael Dembrow, and Sen. Lew Frederick.
Washington’s latest legislation, SB 5188, is sponsored by longtime PBI supporter Sen. Bob Hasagawa. It has 13 co-sponsors and aims to create a public bank to focus on infrastructure needs.
UPDATE: Four additional states, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Hawaii are expected to introduce public bank bills in the coming weeks.
BREAKING: Two major cities — Philadelphia and San Francisco — have introduced public bank legislation this week. Philadelphia’s bill creates a city-owned economic development financing authority to operate a public bank, while San Francisco’s ordinance creates a working group to write a public bank business plan. More on all of these latest efforts in next week’s newsletter.