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04/20/2024 01:02 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=42049
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 1, 2024 09:24 AM
From: Representative G. Roni Green and Rep. Tarik Khan, Rep. Napoleon J. Nelson, Rep. Jordan A. Harris, Rep. Donna Bullock, Rep. Danilo Burgos, Rep. La'Tasha D. Mayes, Rep. Christopher M. Rabb, Rep. Aerion Abney, Rep. Morgan Cephas, Rep. Darisha K. Parker, Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, Rep. Dave Madsen, Rep. Justin C. Fleming, Rep. Carol Kazeem, Rep. Greg Scott
To: All House members
Subject: Addressing Wealth Disparities in PA
 
For generations, Black Americans have experienced countless obstacles that have prevented economic growth and the ability to build generational wealth. Jim Crow laws, redlining, and many more racist policies have led to economic challenges that continue to disadvantage Black Americans to this day. In 2023, it was reported that, on average, Black families owned roughly 24 cents for every $1 of White family wealth. We must address these wealth disparities and build generational wealth in communities struggling with economic inequality.
 
In this bill package, we will introduce two bills intended to help address wealth disparities in Black Pennsylvanians and other underserved communities. The first bill will help to address banking disparities among Black Pennsylvanians and other underserved communities, and the second bill study the effects of racial wealth disparities in PA and propose solutions of how to address these disparities in our commonwealth.
 



Document #1

Introduced as HB2038

Description: A person is considered “underbanked” when they rely on costly alternative financial solutions rather than mainstream financial institutions, and “unbanked” refers to those who do not have a bank account. Many low-income families living in underserved communities are underbanked.  Underbanked individuals face serious economic challenges to their own ability to build and generate wealth. In 2021, The Federal Reserve reported that Black and Hispanic adults are more than twice as likely to be unbanked or underbanked than White adults, and one in three low-income families (less than $25,000) are either unbanked or underbanked.
 
Without access to banking and other financial services, members of these communities will have difficulties building credit, saving money, purchasing a home, and building generational wealth for their families. We must focus on developing new policies and partnerships to increase access to banking services for these communities that have been disadvantaged and are currently underserved.
 
For this reason, we will introduce legislation for the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities to establish an outreach program for state-chartered financial institutions to provide services to underserved communities in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities will work with financial institutions to develop new financial products and other methods to build wealth in these communities.
 
Our underserved communities must be given equal opportunities and greater access to resources that help build wealth. We hope you will join us in co-sponsoring this legislation to help address underbaking in underserved communities. 
 

Document #2

Introduced as HR321

Description: To help find solutions to address this racial wealth disparity, we will be introducing a resolution to establish a task force to conduct a study on the effects of the racial wealth disparities on Black residents of Pennsylvania. This study will conclude with proposals for addressing these disparities in Pennsylvania.
 
As legislators, we should enact policies that promote fairness and equal opportunity for the people of our commonwealth. We hope you will join us in supporting this resolution, which aims to take the necessary steps to find solutions to address the racial wealth disparities in our state.