Michigan Governor May Reject Regional Interstate Banking Bill

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A bill permitting regional interstate banking and consolidation of bank operations statewide has been passed by the Michigan legislature, but the state's governor has indicated he may not sign it into law.

In its last day in session Tuesday, the Michigan Senate approved 30-4 a bill that could make the state the first in the Midwest to allow interstate banking. The Michigan House of Representatives had approved the bill earlier in the year.

The legislation now goes to Michigan Gov. James J. Blanchard for his consideration. In a letter supporting an alternate package of financial legislation rejected by the House of Representatives last week, Gov. Blanchard termed the bill passed by the Senate on Tuesday "anticompetitive" and said he "could not sign it should it reach my desk."

"We're not really sure it will become law," acknowledged Donn Eurich, public affairs coordinator for the Michigan Bankers Association. "At this point, the signals are not good."

If the governor receives the bill on his desk before Friday and takes no action in the two weeks remaining in 1984, the bill automatically becomes law because of a technically in Michigan's law, Mr. Eurich said. if he receives the bill after friday, he has 90 days to sign it or the bill dies.

Under the bill, reciprocal interstate banking is allowed in contiguous Great Lakes states. That would allow banks from Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin to enter michigan if their states passed similar legislation.

"We have the door open, but we really can't work with other states until they pass similar legislation," said Mr. Eurich.

Interest in starting a Midwest regional compact along the lines of those formed in New England and the Southeast has been gaining momentum recently. State legislators and bank regulators from the eight Midwest states met earlier in the fall to discuss the idea. …