The Senate Committee on Education held a public hearing Thursday, August 17 on Assembly Bill 280/Senate Bill 212, a WBA-backed piece of legislation which would require all K-12 Wisconsin public schools to incorporate financial literacy into their curriculum. The bill passed the Assembly in June before being sent to the Senate.
Wisconsin Bankers Foundation Board Member Amy Vetrone testified on behalf of WBA and WBF. Her testimony focused on the importance of financial education and what the banking industry does to promote sound money choices for consumers. "Financial literacy is an important aspect of every person's life," Vetrone stated in her testimony. "If a person is not financially literate, they are open to being taken advantage of and are susceptible to a financially unstable future."
Above: Vetrone (left) testifies in favor of AB280 with WBA's Jon Turke (right).
Vetrone's testimony also highlighted the work Wisconsin's banks do to help promote financial education. "Banks are here to support our schools with implementing financial literacy into the curriculum," she said. "Not only do they visit classrooms, but also work with organizations and community coordinators to be visible where children spend their time."
In addition, Vetrone introduced the committee to MyMazuma.com, a website created by the WBF which provides consumers easy, searchible access to a wide variety of financial resources, from videos to articles to in-person seminars. MyMazuma's purpose is to "help people obtain access to information that will help them make better-informed financial decisions," Vetrone explained.
Also testifying in favor of the bill were: representatives from NAIFA and the WI Credit Union League with Summit Credit Union. In addition, representatives from DFI, the UW-Madison Center for Financial Security, and the WI Association of School Boards each testified to provide informational background for the committee members.
WBA would also like to thank the bill's authors for their dedication to financial education; they have worked on various iterations of this bill for nearly a decade. Thank you to Sens. Chirs Kapenga (R-Delafield) and Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) and Reps. Jason Fields (D-Glendale) and Scott Krug (R-Wisconsin Rapids).
Read the full text of the bill here.