New Mexico--the Nuclear State: We glow as we go!--now has something else in which we are leading the nation!
New Mexico's House of Representatives voted Monday to pass a bill that allows the state to move $2 billion - $5 billion of state funds to credit unions and small banks.
The municipal funds bill was approved 65-0 (roll call - PDF), and is subject to a vote by New Mexico's Senate. Governor Bill Richardson told the bill's sponsor that he supports the legislation.
Credit Union Times spoke to one banker who believes that the bill got a boost from Huffington Post's Move Your Money campaign:The altered view of New Mexico lawmakers in favoring local control of state funds, officials said, follows national mention of the New Mexico effort in the "Move Your Money" campaign of New York pundit Arianna Huffington in her online Huffington Post columns.Move Your Money is a project started by Arianna and Rob Johnson that aims to spur financial reform at big banks by encouraging account holders to move their money to smaller credit unions and community banks. New Mexico currently keeps $1.4 billion in accounts at Bank of America.
"I think Huffington gave this bill a little traction," said Juan Fernandez, vice president of government affairs for the Credit Union Association of New Mexico
New Mexico State Representatives Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) and Timothy Keller (D-Bernalillo) sponsored the bill, HB 66. Rep. Eglof told the Huffington Post in January that the legislation would "direct the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration to 'give a preference to a community bank to act as the fiscal agent of the general fund operating cash depository account.'"