Public bank question enters Minnesota Governor’s race

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive, successfully campaigned on a platform that was pro-public banking. Now, current Minnesota State Auditor and DFL candidate for governor, Rebecca Otto, has indicated support for a state bank.  Otto is promoting the creation of a Minnesota state bank as a solution to geographic, racial and economic disparities. She said such a bank would increase access to capital for small businesses and farms.

While the only state with a public bank is North Dakota, there appears to be a movement around the country to establish state-run banks. In January, a state representative in Michigan introduced legislation to start The Bank of Michigan. Similar legislation is being studied or proposed in Illinois, Virginia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, Florida, Oregon and California. A push for a state-run bank in California stems from the need to provide a way to bank marijuana businesses.

Otto’s plan for a state-run bank is from Part 4 of her “Renew MN Agenda.”