Today, the bill that increases access to checking accounts at banks and credit unions was signed into law. The legislation, authored by Senator Karin Housley (R-Stillwater), passed the Senate last month with a unanimous vote.
Language in this bill allows financial access programs to help low to moderate-income individuals build financial well-being through free tax preparation and financial services and will also change the amount charged for a bounced check from $4 to $10. This legislation ensures that banks and credit unions are protected, while also allowing them to provide services to those in need of financial help. This change would only apply to state-chartered institutions.
“Months of work went into this bill to ensure we had the best language, and I’m thrilled to have Governor Walz’s support in this effort,” said Sen. Housley. “Too often, people face a bad run with their finances, which can lead to the closure of their checking and banking accounts. These people are then unable to open another checking account for a year, and are then left to rely on alternatives like check-cashing stores that charge higher fees. This bill strikes a balance so that banks and credit unions are still protected, but also allows them to serve individuals that may have just faced a bad run of financial luck. This is a commonsense change, and I’m thrilled to have it signed into law by the Governor.”
With the Governor’s signature, the legislation will take effect on August 1.