A hearing was held on “An act relating to the creation of the Washington state public bank” (SB5188) before the Business, Financial Services & Trade Committee of the Washington State Senate on 28 January. I reported on the bill’s introduction to the legislature a week ago in my article entitled “New Public Banking Bill Introduced in Olympia - Hearing On January 28th”. In contrast to other hearings on similar bills to establish a public bank in Washington, this hearing was well attended. Also in a break from the past, most of those who spoke did so in favor of the bill. In fact, a vast majority of all the comments made through the legislative website were in support.
This year the bill was spearheaded by Senator Patty Kuderer, Prime Sponsor, who was joined by thirteen co-sponsors including Sen Bob Hasegawa who has championed public banking for 10 years. She spoke articulately and firmly about the legislation. You can view her comments at 4 minutes into the video of the hearing. After she spoke, Bill Longbrake of the Washington State Investment Board gave some excellent background on the formation of the bill and the main elements of the legislation beginning at 24:40 on the video counter.
An updated Senate Bill Report has been created which contains summary information about the hearing. There is no indication at present of the date on which the bill will be taken up again.
Stay tuned…winds are shifting on public banking.
[Note to readers: This article replaces a previous article you may have read that was unfortunately based on erroneous information that the bill had moved out of committee. I ask your indulgence in my having removed the first article as it served no further purpose.]