Washington State’s public bank bill, SB 5188, passed its second committee, the Senate Ways and Means Committee, “with substitutions” (amendments) on Monday, Feb 22, and now moves on to the Rules Committee, its last stop before a floor vote. It passed its first committee, the Business, Financial Services & Trade Committee, earlier this month. PBI Board Member Dennis Ortblad reports it passed with strong support in the Committee — 14 Senators voting in favor, 10 against.
Central to the substitutions was switching the type of institution the bill would create. The original bill aimed to create a “Washington State Public Bank.” That description has been changed to a “Washington State Public Financial Cooperative” with the proviso that “the financial cooperative must not constitute a bank or trust company.” More discussion to come on the possible implications of this switch.
“Though it is limited in its lending to infrastructure, the financial cooperative (aka bank) has the potential to expand its activities in coming years. Its mandate includes lending for overall ‘economic development.’”
New York City’s Public Bank NYC has launched a “Take Action Thursday” push for their two public bank related initiatives introduced last year, INT-2099 and INT-2100. You can help City Council know you support these initiatives with four easy steps, here.
Keep track of ongoing legislation on PBI’s “Legislation and Local Groups” page on our website, updated regularly.