Joint Authors of AB 1177 (California Public Banking Option Act) Celebrate the Bill's Passage

For immediate release:

Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) authored AB 1177, the California Public Banking Option Act which initiates an innovative program to close the financial services gap that leaves 1 in 4 Californians unbanked or underbanked.

(Sacramento, CA) -  Upon Gov. Newsom’s signing of AB 1177 (the California Public Banking Option Act), Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) released the below statement with the following joint authors: Assembly Member David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), Assembly Member Mike Gipson (D-Carson), Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), Assembly Member Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and Assembly Member Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland).

“AB 1177 is a major step toward public banking and no-fee banking services for all Californians,” said Assembly Member Miguel Santiago, lead author of AB 1177. “Public banking will push us closer to a more equitable economy by fighting the racial wealth gap and help low-income families build wealth. We must keep working to provide no-fee banking services to all Californians.”

“There has long been a gap in affordable banking services in low-income communities, which can have a lasting and damaging impact on families’ ability to save and participate in our economy," said Assembly Member David Chiu. "By signing this bill, California is taking a big step towards a more equitable economy and ensuring that every Californian has a chance at economic stability.”

“For too long, too many hardworking Californians have gone without access to essential banking and financial services,” said Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia. “By establishing the foundation for public banking option, AB 1177 will open up opportunities to uplift our most underserved communities and help California achieve an inclusive, equitable economy. I commend Assemblymember Santiago for bringing us together on this important economic justice issue.”

“Universal access to essential financial services will level the playing field and remove roadblocks that have been placed in communities of color for far too long,” said Assembly Member Mike Gipson. “If we are going to build back strong post pandemic, we must have a more equitable economy that protects working class people from predatory banking fees. Thank you to Governor Newsom for signing AB 1177, which takes the necessary steps to advance racial and economic equity and provides opportunities to build generational wealth by making banking accessible to all.”

"I'm proud to have joint authored the Public Banking Option Act, bringing us one step closer to creating an accessible, no-cost banking option in California," said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. "It's past time we invested in underbanked communities like mine to ensure all working families can access basic banking services like direct deposit, build their credit, and save for the future."

“I’m excited to see California explore a public banking option. For too long, the absorbent fees charged at financial institutions have crippled the budgets of working families. We need an alternative that better serves communities,” said Assembly Member Phil Ting.

“Banking services are essential for participation in our economy — and in turn, Californians’ economic recovery from the pandemic,” said Assembly Member Buffy Wicks. “Governor Newsom’s signing of this bill brings us one step closer to eliminating systemic inequities in our financial system, and it couldn’t come at a more important time. It’s absolutely critical that poor banking access doesn’t keep Californians from getting back on their feet.”

Modeled after the success of the CalSavers program, the California Public Banking Option Act, forms a commission comprised of financial access experts, community members, and representatives from the Treasurer’s office and the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation to oversee a market analysis on how the CalAccount program could be implemented. The CalAccount program. once approved by the legislature, would establish a state-sponsored retail banking option for every Californian, offering a zero-fee, zero-penalty debit account and debit card, direct deposit from employers and public benefits, automatic bill pay to registered payees, recurring payments and donations to account holders’ organizations or charities of choice, and an infrastructure to support account holders in building credit.

The California Public Banking Option Act’s joint authors include Wendy Carrillo (Los Angeles), David Chiu (San Francisco), Eduardo Garcia (Coachella), Lorena Gonzalez (San Diego), Ash Kalra (San Jose), Alex Lee (San Jose), Phil Ting (San Francisco), Buffy Wicks (Oakland), Mike Gipson (Carson) and Adrin Nazarian (Los Angeles). Co-authors include Assemblymembers Laura Friedman (Glendale), Reggie Jones-Sawyer (Los Angeles), Luz Rivas (Arleta) and Senators Maria Elena Durazo (Los Angeles), Lena Gonzalez (Long Beach), Ben Hueso (San Diego), Scott Wiener (San Francisco), and Josh Newman (Fullerton).

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.