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Fri Feb 19, 2021, 09:51 PM

New Mexico bill to create state bank takes first step

LAS CRUCES - A years-long effort to establish a public bank in New Mexico took its first step forward Thursday, Feb. 18, on a 5-4 vote in the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee.

In past years, legislators had been unwilling to even study the issue, given the fierce opposition from community bankers from throughout the state. That opposition remains, and was bolstered by the fiscal-impact report on the bill, in which state officials from several agencies raised questions about it.

House Bill 236 would appropriate $100 million to start the Public Bank of New Mexico, and create a new 11-person board that would provide oversight and hire the CEO to manage the bank. Supporters said it would keep more of our money in the state and would make more funds available for lending.

“The concept is pretty simple, we leverage taxpayer dollars to create our own economic instrument and foster community development,” said co-sponsor Sen. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces. He said North Dakota has had a state bank for 100 years, and it has served the state well through a number of different crises, including the current pandemic.

Read more: https://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/2021/02/18/new-mexico-legislators-consider-state-bank-bill/4493835001/
(Las Cruces Sun-News)

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