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State Public Banking (Cooperative) Bill - Update on House Actions

Washington moves ever closer to public banking for the good of its citizens and the fiscal health of the state.

Washington moves ever closer to public banking for the good of its citizens and the fiscal health of the state.

{ Udpate 4/10/2021: E2SSB 5188 the public cooperative (banking bill), now in the Rules Committee, can use a push by a legislator by requesting that it be brought out of Rules and onto the floor for a vote immediately.   Bellingham's Alex Ramel, the 40th District representative, who is actually on the Rules Committee, can ask that the legislation be pulled out of the committee for a floor vote.  You can send an email to Alex at alex.ramel@leg.wa.gov.]

[Update 4/1/2021: On 3/31/2021 E2SSB 5188 passed the House Appropriations Committee on a party line vote. The bill now goes to the Rules Committee before being moved to the House floor and eventual vote.]

Washington is moving closer to having an entity akin to a public bank with E2SSB 5188 (Washington State Public Financial Cooperative) now scheduled for a public hearing in the House Committee on Appropriations next Tuesday, March 30th.  Since my last article on this topic,  “State Public Banking (Cooperative) Bill Moves To The House” the legislation has negotiated the House committee slalom, successfully passing through necessary gates.  House actions completed to date:

Mar 7 First reading, referred to Consumer Protection & Business 

Mar 17 Public hearing in the House Committee on Consumer Protection & Business at 8:00 AM. (Committee Materials)

Mar 25 Executive action taken in the House Committee on Consumer Protection & Business at 10:00 AM. (Committee Materials)  

CPB - Majority; do pass with amendment(s). (Majority Report) 

Minority; do not pass. (Minority Report) 

Mar 26 Referred to Appropriations. 

Mar 30 Scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee on Appropriations at 1:30 PM (Subject to change). (Committee Materials)

For those of you who might not have time to wade through the 30 pages of legislation here is a brief, six page summary of the Engrossed Second Substitute Bill (as amended by the House Committee on Consumer Protection and Business).  This version “Authorizes a public financial cooperative as a membership organization to lend to local and tribal governmental entities.”  That means new, less costly financing options for infrastructure projects, such as low cost housing, roads, parks, ports, etc.

This bill, already approved by the Senate, appears to be headed towards successful passage in the House, however, it ain't over ‘til it’s over. The state Senate’s proposed operating budget includes the funding necessary for putting the public financial cooperative in motion. E2SSB 5188 has passed the relevant House policy committee, but the House budget does not include funding. The House must include it. 

As noted above, the House Appropriations Committee will be holding a hearing on the underlying bill (E2SSB 5188) on Tuesday, March 30 at 1:30 PM.  Coincidentally, a fellow supporter of this bill wrote to me this morning with the following message for those who want to see this bill passed. “Please go here by at least 12:30 PM on Tuesday and select “Appropriations” as the committee and “March 30” as the date. After marking the little circle opposite “E2SSB 5188 Public financial cooperative” you will be given the options of submitting written testimony, submitting oral testimony, and having your position noted for the legislative record. With the third option you can simply select “Pro” under “Position”. If you wish to submit testimony, we would suggest as the main point that the House budget must include the funding for the financial cooperative that the Senate budget provides for.”

Act now.  Support a public financial cooperative in Washington.

Comments by Readers

Todd Lagestee

Apr 10, 2021

Actually, I think your 4/10 update is behind the times. Looks like it has a floor spot.

 

From: https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5188&Year=2021&Initiative=false

 

Apr 2 Referred to Rules 2 Review.

Apr 7 Rules Committee relieved of further consideration. Placed on second reading.

 

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Dick Conoboy

Apr 11, 2021

 Todd,

 I see no indication that the bill has moved to the floor.  Can you be more precise.  No action on the bill is indicated after 7 April.

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Todd Lagestee

Apr 11, 2021

Go to the link, scroll up and read the Senate action. It’s the same language in the House Rules Committee.

I listened to the Rules Committee hearing from April 7 and it appears that it was in the “agreed upon” batch that was passed in first vote.

So, my best guess is that it has a shot at a second reading on the floor of the House. They just don’t tell you when.

 

Thanks for keeping this fight going.

 

T

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Satpal Sidhu

Apr 11, 2021

I have been following this bill like many others. I did testify to the committee as well. thnk the Bank Lobby is too strong to overcome. Or the public awareness towards this is not wide spread even among the legislators. Thinking critically, this should be a basic reuirement for any government to have their own Public Bank.

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Dick Conoboy

Apr 11, 2021

 We should all send an email to Rep Ramel as I suggested.  It certainly cannot hurt the cause and it may well provoke action on the bill. 

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Satpal Sidhu

Apr 11, 2021

Dick,  I have already been in touch with Alex and he is doing his best.

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Dick Conoboy

Apr 11, 2021

Satpal,

Thanks for the news.  It is nice to hear that you heard directly from Alex on this.

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Dick Conoboy

Apr 11, 2021

My sources tell me that the bill is number 15 on the list for today unless something intervenes or another bill’s discussion takes up too much time.

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