Louisiana bond commission pulls bank from refinancing deal over gun policy

Louisiana bond commission pulls bank from refinancing deal over gun policy

The Louisiana Legislature ended its regular session Thursday. (Photo by Julie O’Donoghue) Louisiana’s State Bond Commission Thursday changed its mind about which bank should handle the refinancing of the $700 million worth of state debt based on the financial institutions’ policies toward gun manufacturers. The Bond Commission unanimously voted to give Wells Fargo the state’s refinancing contract after concerns were raised last month about JPMorgan Chase & Co. , the bank originally selected to handle the deal. Republicans on the Bond Commission are upset that JPMorgan refuses to do business with gun manufacturers who sell military-style weapons to consumers. Switching banks isn’t expected to cost Louisiana extra money. JPMorgan had proposed charging Louisiana a lower fee for its services than Wells Fargo, but Wells Fargo has since agreed to lower its rate to the same level, Schroder said. The refinancing is expected to save the state $40 million overall, according to Bond Commission staff. But the vote highlights the extent to which the Bond Commission — which includes several statewide elected Republicans — will go to shore up its credentials on gun rights. “I’m not selling our Second Amendment rights to corporate America,” State Treasurer John Schroder, the Bond Commission chairman, said. Banks that seek to do business with the Bond Commission already have to affirm on a questionnaire that they do not infringe on the “constitutionally protected rights of the citizens of the State to lawfully keep and bear arms,” before their applications are approved. JPMorgan doesn’t believe […]

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