To: Sen. Mark MacDonald (VT-9), Sen. Kevin Mullin (VT-10), Sen. Virginia Lyons (VT-4), Sen. Christopher Bray (VT-1), and Sen. Tim Ashe (VT-4)

Create a State Bank-Move S.204

S.204 would create a 10 percent for Vermont program and extend full banking powers to VEDA. I urge the members of the Senate Finance Committee to act on this bill and pass it out of committee, with the provision creating a state bank intact, by the deadline for it to be considered by the House of Representatives this year.

Why is this important?

Currently, Vermont pays millions of dollars in interest and fees to big out of state financial institutions and other entities. Most of this money does not come back to the state and is not available for use by the state to increase economic vitality and the quality of life for Vermonters. Some of these institutions have been found to engage in rigging everything they can for their own enrichment. Creation of a state bank would keep this money in VT

The parent company of TD Bank NA, where VT deposits most of its checkbook funds, has derivative contracts which are valued at 5 times its total assets. In the event of another collapse like the one in 2008, it is possible that Vermont could see its deposits confiscated to "bail-in" TD Bank. Putting our public monies into a state bank would prevent this from happening.

S.204 would create a "10 Percent for Vermont Program" and extend full banking powers to the Vermont Economic Development Authority. Initially, 10% of VT's unrestricted funds would be deposited in the state bank to be used in partnership with community banks to fund projects which would contribute to Vermont's economy. This is a modest start which would require capitalization of about $7 million. The bank would not be designed to compete with community banks. It would be designed to expand their ability to enhance prosperity in the state.

The Senate Finance Committee must take up and approve this bill by the end of the day on March 21. Currently, it looks like it is unlikely that the committee is going to act on this bill. We need to let the committee know that there are a lot of Vermonters who support this bill.

Please sign this petition and pass it on to as many people as you can. The more people who sign it, the more likely that the committee will act on the bill.