LETTER: Time to create our own state bank

Posted 3/7/17

Sen. Bob Hasegawa introduced a bill into the Washington State Senate on Feb. 21 that would create a publicly owned state bank.

“The Washington Investment Trust will keep taxpayer dollars in our …

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LETTER: Time to create our own state bank

Posted

Sen. Bob Hasegawa introduced a bill into the Washington State Senate on Feb. 21 that would create a publicly owned state bank.

“The Washington Investment Trust will keep taxpayer dollars in our state, working for Washingtonians instead of Wall Street,” said Hasegawa, a state senator from the 11th District.

The bank proposed in Senate Bill 5464 (and companion House Bill 2059) is modeled after the Bank of North Dakota (BND), which was founded in 1919 and has been successfully operating ever since. The BND provides economic development and public support; its website invites state residents to apply for scholarships, student loans, savings accounts for individuals with disabilities and their families, and home and business loans.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, farms that had been foreclosed on were sold back by BND, usually to the original families that had owned and farmed them.

The intent of the Washington Investment Trust is to keep tax dollars in our state. Right now, our taxes are deposited in Bank of America. The State of Washington currently budgets $1 billion for debt services.

“Instead of paying profits to bankers, we could be borrowing from and repaying ourselves,” says Hasegawa. The time has come for our state to create its own bank.

Let’s ask our legislators to support SB 5464 and HB 2059.

BARBARA BENNETT

Nordland

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