Santa Monica PIer by Robert Bye

California Governor signs bill to study the feasibility of a CalAccount state public-private partnership program that would set up zero-fee accounts for the now unbanked

Santa Monica Pier. Photo by Robert Bye.

AB 1177, signed by Governor Newsom on Oct 4, initiates a market analysis of the feasibility of implementing a state-backed “CalAccount Program.” The program would offer Californians access to “a voluntary, zero-fee, zero-penalty, federally insured transaction account, known as a CalAccount, and related payment services at no cost to accountholders, including robust and geographically diverse mechanisms for accessing account funds and account management tools that facilitate the automation of basic financial transactions designed to serve the needs of individuals with low or fluctuating income.” The study is to be completed by July 1, 2024.

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, the bill’s author, wrote in a statement reported in the Sacramento Bee:

“This bill is a much-needed step to address the needs of the unbanked and underbanked and moves us closer to building a more equitable economy after the pandemic.”

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