On July 3, just before the long weekend, AB857 passed through the California State Senate Governance & Finance Committee, having passed the Banking & Finance Committee two weeks earlier.
The remaining steps for the bill are the Senate Appropriations Committee (in August, after the senators take their vacation), the Senate floor vote, and the governor’s signature. Having already cleared four such hurdles in the Assembly and two of the four in the Senate, we are highly optimistic!
The Governance & Finance vote involved some additional amendments to the bill; however, the public testimony and legislative intent are resolving in terms that we, the advocates, think are manageable.
California public banking is becoming more and more plausible every day!
And it’s getting attention, too.
And here’s an excerpt from Robert R. Raymond’s excellent public banking recap at Truthout:
“We see the need for public banking all over the country right now, but there’s no better example of it anywhere else than in San Francisco, which is one of the wealthiest cities in the world but also one of the most unequal in terms of income,” Kurtis Wu, an organizer with the San Francisco Public Bank Coalition, told Truthout. “We have 7,000 unhoused residents on the streets of San Francisco. Rent is now approaching $4,000 for a one-bedroom apartment. Our infrastructure is crumbling, our public transit system is embarrassing. We see public banking as a mechanism that can really start to redirect capital toward these things.”
The time for public banking is now!