Good news! H3543 has been moved to the Joint Committee on Financial Services. We have an historic opportunity to pass legislation to start the first state public bank in the U.S. since 1919!
H3543, creating a Massachusetts public infrastructure bank, will give Commonwealth cities and towns an economical alternative to fund infrastructure projects. With twenty other States and cities pursuing public banks as well, we hope such a move will also strengthen their efforts.
Lower-cost financing means that cities and towns will have more money for education, vital services, and local quality of life amenities. Your city or town can save as much as 35%-50% on the cost of a new school, bridge, water treatment facility, health and public safety IT systems, agriculture, forestry and accessibility improvements, bike lanes, or other projects.
It is also a forward-looking green bill that will enable towns and cities to prepare for and mitigate the consequences of climate change. The bank does all this, whenever invited, in partnership with local, community banks and credit unions. There is no competition with local banks as the Massachusetts Infrastructure Bank is not a retail bank and handles only public money.
“Hold on” some might say, “then won’t my state taxes go up?” This might be true to support a revolving loan fund (sometimes erroneously called a “bank”) that will require re-appropriations to expand. But new taxes are not needed for a chartered, infrastructure public bank that will achieve profitability within two to three years and then use these profits to increase support for needed projects.
The Massachusetts Public Bank will be set up to serve the needs of all Commonwealth residents, be insulated from political influence, and be independently and regularly audited. The Massachusetts Infrastructure Bank will offer secure protection for public deposits, as it will never invest speculatively in derivatives. Its fiduciary responsibility is to the people of Massachusetts.
Please take a moment to contact the House and Senate Chairs of the Joint Financial Services Committee listed below. Other members of the committee are listed as well, so if you are a constituent, please call them as well.
While we have legislative support, we only have 10 days to influence it being reported favorably out of the Committee. So please, go for it! Make a call or send an email today.
Here’s a script:
I’m writing to ask you to ensure that H3543, creating the Massachusetts Infrastructure Bank, is reported favorably out of the Joint Committee on Financial Services. Our municipalities and taxpayers need reliable, cost-effective financing that allows us to plan for the future, improves our daily lives and puts people to work across the Commonwealth.
Chairs of the Joint Financial Services Committee
House Chair: Representative Aaron Michlewitz (617) 722-2220 Aaron.M.Michlewitz@mahouse.gov
Senate Chair: Senator James Eldridge (617) 722-1120 James.Eldridge@masenate.gov
Other Members of the Joint Financial Services Committee–if you are a constituent, please call or email!
Vice Chair: Representative Michael J. Finn (617) 722-2220 Michael.Finn@mahouse.gov
Vice Chair: Senator Eric Lesser (617) 722-1291 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Joseph A. Boncore (617) 722-1634 Joseph.Boncore@masenate.gov
Senator John F. Keenan (617) 722-1494 John.Keenan@masenate.gov
Senator Sal N. DiDomenico (617) 722-1650 Sal.DiDomenico@masenate.gov
Senator Viriato M. deMacedo (617) 722-1330 Vinny.deMacedo@masenate.gov
Representative Thomas M. Stanley (617) 722-2230 Thomas.Stanley@mahouse.gov
Representative Chris Walsh (617) 722-2070 Chris.Walsh@mahouse.gov
Representative Marjorie C. Decker (617) 722-2692 Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov
Representative Christine P. Barber (617) 722-2210 Christine.Barber@mahouse.gov
Representative Michael S. Day (617-722-2210 Michael.Day@mahouse.gov
Representative Jose F. Tosado (617) 722-2464 Jose.Tosado@mahouse.gov
Representative Daniel Cahill (617-722-2020 Daniel.Cahill@mahouse.gov
Representative F. Jay Barrows (617) 722-2488 F.JayBarrows@mahouse.gov
Representative Shawn Dooley (617) 722-2810 Shawn.Dooley@mahouse.gov
You may also want to let your own state legislators know about your support for the bill. You can find their contact info here.
Finally, contact your mayor or town manager. You may wish to remind your mayor that the current bond market charges 4.5% or 5% bond interest for AAA rated cities and towns. If a town has over 6% of its annual budget allocated to debt service, they are often charged exorbitant rates of 13% and up. This raiding of public treasuries must stop. Why should we taxpayers pay more for necessary improvements to our lives?
Ask your local public officials to please contact their Representatives and Senators and members of the Joint Financial Services Committee asking them to favorably consider H3543.
And if you have questions about this bill, please contact us!