Press Releases

“Thanks to this important legislation, debt collectors are now prohibited from siphoning New Yorkers’ COVID-19 stimulus payments. The new law ensures that federal relief funds actually provide relief to New Yorkers, not windfalls for the debt collection industry. New Economy Project is proud to have worked on this crucial bill with ally organizations, as we continue the fight for racial and economic justice and a just recovery for all New Yorkers.”

As the NYC Council’s Committee on Finance held its first hearing on a package of bills laying groundwork for a municipal bank, the Public Bank NYC coalition released new findings showing NYC’s “Designated Banks” – those authorized to hold municipal deposits – exacted more than $5 billion in predatory overdraft fees in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic devastated NYC and the country.

Today, community, labor, and cooperative groups from across the state joined NYS Senate Banks Chair James Sanders Jr. and NYS Assembly Banks Chair Victor M. Pichardo to rally for the “New York Public Banking Act” (S1762A/A5782). The bill creates a regulatory framework for New York cities, counties and regions seeking to establish local public banks—financial institutions created by cities and counties, and accountable to the people.

Yesterday, a federal judge certified a class action charging the NYC Transit Authority, an arm of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), with systemic due process violations. The civil rights lawsuit challenges the Transit Authority’s unlawful seizures of New Yorkers’ state tax refunds to collect on default judgments—some going back 20 years or more—without providing legally-required notice or a fair opportunity to contest the judgments.

Fifteen Members of the NYC Council delivered a letter last week urging the NYS Legislature to pass the New York Public Banking Act (S.5565-C/A.9665-D), a groundbreaking bill that creates a pathway for New York cities, counties and regions to form public banks—financial institutions established by local governments and chartered to serve the public interest.