By Nick Reisman
A bill that would enable the creation of public banks in New York has won the backing of dozens of local elected officials in 19 cities.
The officials in a letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul and top lawmakers in the state Legislature released Monday called for the passage of the measure, which has stalled over the last year in Albany.
The measure would make it easier for the creation of public banking institutions, which supporters hope can be used for investments in afforable housing, green jobs and equitable financial services. At the same time, a public bank could help communities under served by existing financial institutions.
In large, the bill would end the requirement in state law that public banks must apply for commercial charters. California has similar regulations in place for public banks.
“Instead of our city deposits sitting in Wall Street banks, a Rochester Public Bank would allow us to invest that money in our community and generate more revenue from the interest,” said Rochester City Council Member Mary Lupien. “My colleagues and I stand 100% united in asking Albany lawmakers to take the simple step of passing the NY Public Banking Act this session and providing a pathway for us to move toward this exciting prospect for our city.”
All told, 82 officials have signed onto the letter backing the passage of the bill.