Resolution to Support a Public Bank


WHEREAS, the taxpayers of Washington state have demanded greater accountability and wiser use of the taxes they pay to benefit Washingtonians, not Wall Street; and

WHEREAS, a public depository bank owned by and for the people of Washington State and/or it’s political subdivisions (Public Bank) could meet those demands by using taxpayer dollars to re-invest in physical and social infrastructure, student loans, create jobs, increase access to capital for small businesses, absorb debt capacity, generate new revenue without raising taxes, avert long term debt payments and fees to Wall Street, and keep taxpayers’ dollars in Washington state, working for Washington State; and

WHEREAS, a Public Bank would streamline and create efficiencies of the State’s numerous existing revolving loan programs and leverage their capacity to work for the people of Washington State while lowering overhead and exercising efficiencies of scale, paying it’s own operating costs, and returning profits back to the state; and

WHEREAS, recent Washington State legislative sessions have exposed a serious lack of resources and bonding capacity to deal with the state’s overwhelming capital needs because of years of bouncing off our Constitutional debt limit, and that resource deficiency exists at all levels of government, which has led the Legislature to consider a publicly owned cooperative depository bank that allows political subdivisions to also participate in; and

WHEREAS, a successful model of public banking is the Bank of North Dakota, which was first established in 1919 and is controlled by the people of North Dakota for the benefit of the people and economy of North Dakota and in 2019 returned it’s 16th consecutive year of record profits for the people of North Dakota yielding an 18.6% return; and

WHEREAS, public banking is standard operating procedure for social and economic development in most global economies like Germany, Japan, Brazil, Russia, India, England, and China who use public banks for public financing as opposed to commercial banks for public financing; and

WHEREAS, one of a public bank’s greatest strengths is that it can invest counter-cyclical to the economy by leveraging our tax dollars and creating credit on it’s books in the form of loans to support needed economic development programs and jobs, and is in fact to only way our state can infuse money into our local economies to bridge the economic crisis created by COVID-19 short of raising taxes or selling bonds (if we even had the capacity under our debt limit); and

WHEREAS, a Public Bank can grow in capacity to be an unparalleled resource for future generations of Washingtonians; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the 31st Legislative District Democrats endorse creation of a public depository bank owned by and for the people of Washington State and/or it’s political subdivisions; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that in the event an initiative of the people should become a possibility, the 31st Legislative District Democrats should work with others to co-sponsor and pass such an initiative of the people for the purpose of creating a publicly owned depository state bank; and, be it finally

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the Governor, House and Senate leadership, Senate State Bank Caucus c/o, and other civic minded stakeholders for further dissemination to, and education of, the general public.

This resolution was adopted by the 31st LD Democrats on December 2, 2020.

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