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Queens Chronicle

Avella the banker? No.

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Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2014 10:30 am

We dislike seeing a business close in Queens as much as anyone; after all, as a free newspaper, all of our revenue comes from advertising. And we of course support some government involvement in private businesses, such as the Affordable Care Act and increases in the minimum wage.

But there is a line at which the private business of a private business is just that. And we regret to see that state Sen. Tony Avella has just jumped way over that line with a piece of dangerous legislation that would give the state far too much control.

At issue is the recent closure of a Capital One bank branch in Avella’s district. Ever the populist, the senator is proposing a bill that would make it take longer for federally chartered banks such as Capital One to close. They’re already required to give customers 90 days’ notice, but Avella’s proposal would have the state do all kinds of studies reviewing the impact in the name of “community input.”

The bank closed without any input from residents, Avella says. Not true. They gave their input by not using it enough for Capital One to find keeping it open profitable. The 90-day warning is enough. This bill that would essentially give the state control over when a business can close must not become law.

Welcome to the discussion.