By State Senator Sam Slom
Among the hundreds of bills still alive at the Legislature are three House bills seeking to establish a State run bank in Hawaii.
This is not a new idea, but one that has majority House backing and support this Session. The first U.S. state run bank is a successful wholesale bank in North Dakota. Part of its success is due to its 100-year longevity, the agrarian nature of the state, and North Dakota’s positive business climate. None of which exists in Hawaii. Several other states are considering such a bank in these tough economic times, especially when they can’t access federal funds for state programs and subsidies.
Specifically, HB1840 HD3 establishes a task force to study the feasibility of a state bank; HB2103 HD2 directs the state DCCA to study and establish a state bank with deposits into the bank, and HB1033 HD1 establishes a “Clean Economy Bank,” to finance state green energy projects—that the private sector wouldn’t invest in.
Special interest groups, welfare agencies and FACE—Hawaii’s ACORN community organizers—all support a state run bank—funded by the taxpayers. They see it as a way of funding their schemes and programs that can’t come from the budget or general fund grants.
I oppose all of these bills.
Our state can’t fix potholes, educate our keiki or control spending; do we really think a state bank is an answer? Do we really believe having the Governor (with no banking experience) at the state bank’s CEO and the directors appointed by the Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, and labor unions, would be business and investment savvy?
This is just another way of hosing the taxpayers and looting the treasury. Just say no!
Go the Hawaii State Legislature’s website @ capitol.hawaii.gov to get the latest update on these bills. Do a search by bill number under “bill status”.