Senate Passes California Public Banking Option Act to Empower Unbanked and Underbanked Californians

For immediate release:

(Sacramento, CA) – In response to the California State Senate approving AB 1177, landmark legislation to study how the state can guarantee all Californians access to basic banking services without fees or penalties, Assembly Member Santiago released the following statement:

“All Californians regardless of income should be able to access basic banking services without overdraft fees or penalties. Predatory financial services gouge low-income folks from every corner. That’s why we’re passing the California Public Banking Option Act,” said Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, lead author of AB 1177.

“AB 1177 will help empower people who have been excluded and exploited by the financial system so that they can start to save money, build wealth and provide a better life for their families. That’s why AB 1177 is endorsed by SEIU California, California Reinvestment Coalition, California Public Banking Alliance, and 230 racial and economic justice groups, faith-based and climate justice organizations, businesses, and labor unions.”

AB 1177 is modeled from the success of CalSavers and CalKids, similar programs aimed at creating greater financial stability for working families. To study the most effective and efficient way to operate the program, AB 1177 requires a market analysis to study how California can offer a no-fee, no-penalty debit card account that allows users to deposit funds, automate bill pay, and set up direct deposit. The bill must be acted on by the Governor by October 10th.  

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Communications and Conveyance Committee and the Assembly Select Committee on Los Angeles County Homelessness. He also sits on the Assembly Committee on Health, Public Safety, Higher Education and Utilities and Energy. He represents the 53rd District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon.