This Washington

State Could Create Its Own Bank

By Erica C. Barnett January 16, 2012

The Olympian reports that the state of Washington may cut ties to big banks like Bank of America and US Bank, which distribute welfare aid, store state dollars, and buy goods---a first step toward creating a state bank, a pet project of many state Democrats including House Speaker Frank Chopp (D-43) and state Rep. Bob Hasegawa (D-11).

The Olympian  reports:
The proposed Washington state bank is modeled on the 93-year-old, state-run Bank of North Dakota. Its champion in the Legislature is Rep. Bob Hasegawa, a Democrat whose district runs from Renton to South Seattle.

Hasegawa’s proposal last year went nowhere. But the House created a task force that Hasegawa led, which came up with scaled-back legislation addressing worries about whether a state bank would run afoul of constitutional prohibitions about lending the state’s credit.

Hasegawa wants a bank with more authority but said it might require a change to the state constitution. This version, he said, will pass constitutional muster.

“The (Supreme) Court has said you can use the state’s credit for the public benefit or to support the poor and infirm,” he said. The bill he introduced Friday has 44 sponsors, just six shy of a majority in the House.

The Occupy movement supports the creation of a state bank, which they see as an alternative to Wall Street.we
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