Maine to Consider Public Bank Bill

Jan 30, 2015.

In Maine, a hearing has been scheduled for next week to consider a bill creating a state public bank and authorizing counties and municipalities to create their own banks.

L.D. 24, H.P. 23, An Act To Create a Public State Bank, sponsored by Diane M. Russell (D-Portland, pictured at left), will be the subject of a hearing on Tuesday, February 3, according to the Maine Public Banking Coalition.

“An Act To Create a Public State Bank” establishes the Maine Street Bank effective July 1, 2017, according to the bill’s summary. It specifies the purposes of the bank, establishes a board of directors and creates an advisory committee. It allows the bank to accept deposits of public funds, to make, purchase, guarantee, modify or hold certain loans and to serve as a custodian bank. It directs the Treasurer of State to deposit money into the bank. Excess income of the bank is deposited in the Maine Budget Stabilization Fund. The bill provides for a quarterly examination of the bank by the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Bureau of Financial Institutions and an audit by the State Auditor every 2 years.

The bill also allows counties and municipalities to establish public banks.

Finally, the bill directs the State Treasurer, the Commissioner of Administrative and Financial Services, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Finance Authority of Maine to consult with the State Attorney General and prepare a report by January 15, 2016 with recommendations to fully implement the bank.

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