Maine Lawmaker Proposes Creating State Bank

Barbara Cariddi • Maine Lawmaker Proposes Creating State Bank • April 22, 2011

Two Democratic lawmakers teamed up with local business owners this morning to unveil a proposal to create a Maine state bank, although the plan is not being welcomed by the state’s mainstream banking community. Barbara Cariddi has more.

The legislation was announced along with a report outlining the problems Maine small businesses are facing with credit issues, says state representative Diane Russsell (right) of Portland. “What if we took our tax payer dollars out of Wall Street and invested right here on Main Street?” she said.

The bill she’s sponsoring, LD 1452, will, she says, allow the state to move nearly half a billion dollars in assets held by out-of-state banks, into a Maine state bank, establishing a partnership with community banks to expand small business lending.

“Small business owners repeatedly talk about how they don’t have access to affordable credit,” she said. “Let’s leverage our taxpayer money through partnership loans to knock some percentage points off a loan so we can get more money circulating into the local economy, spur economic growth, entrepreneurialism and job growth.”

The bill’s co-sponsor, fellow Democrat Bobbi Beavers of South Berwick, says the new state bank would not be a traditional retail bank where you or I could open an account, but more of a kind of mini-central bank–a federal reserve writ small.

Read the article here.
Read the bill here.

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