Alaska state and flag

House Bill 364 Will Help Alaskans Invest in Alaska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 29, 2016

Juneau – Representatives Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) and Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) have filed legislation to create a state bank as a public corporation of the State of Alaska.  The Bank of Alaska would create new avenues for long-term economic growth by granting loans to Alaskan-owned businesses and emerging industries.

“A state bank would offer Alaskans new opportunities to invest in themselves,” said Rep. Kawasaki.  “Too many Alaskans who have the dream, desire and drive are denied bank loans and cannot access credit.  This bank can help Alaskans build their own local business.”

Profit from Bank of Alaska loans would be deposited into the general fund annually and would be available to be reinvested in the bank with a vote from the Alaska Legislature.  The Bank of Alaska would be able to raise revenue while helping Alaskans develop and improve their small businesses.

“A state bank will allow us to control our own economic destiny by investing in industrial development to create value-added industries from our resources,” said Rep. Tuck.  “This will create physical wealth for our state and insulate us from the swings of the banking markets, which can hinder us from necessary development.”

The benefits of a state bank could include the creation of more small businesses, increased diversification of the economy, the creation of new jobs, decreased state financial costs, and reduced reliance on out of state banking services.  The concept for the Bank of Alaska comes from the Bank of North Dakota, the only state-owned bank in the nation, which has made development loans successfully since 1919.

“With the State of Alaska facing a $3.5 billion deficit, the Bank of Alaska would be a way to raise revenue and grow the economy by combining the power of the state with the ingenuity of Alaskan entrepreneurs,” said Rep. Kawasaki.

HB 364 was formally introduced last week and has been referred to the House Labor and Commerce and Finance Committees.

For more information, contact Jake Gerrish in Rep. Kawasaki’s office at (907) 465-3466.

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