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House Passes Resolution in Support of Financial Literacy

On April 30, the House approved, 402-2, H. Res. 1079, a resolution supporting April as “Financial Literacy Month.” The House Committee on Financial Services held a hearing on financial literacy and education on April 15 (see The Source, 4/18/08).

Sponsored by Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), the resolution contains a number of findings, including:

  •  personal financial literacy is essential to ensure that individuals are prepared to make informed financial choices, as well as manage money, credit, debt, and risk, and become responsible workers, heads of households, investors, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and citizens;
  •  studies show that as many as 10 million households in the United States are “unbanked” or are without access to mainstream financial products and services;
  •  the personal savings rate in the United States was zero percent at the end of the fourth quarter of 2007, which puts it among the lowest since the government began collecting the data in 1959;
  •  a study by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants found that 55 percent of people between the ages of 25 and 34 maintain an interest-bearing account or other savings instrument, a decrease of 10 percent since 1985; and
  •  public, community-based, and private sector organizations throughout the United States are working to increase financial literacy rates for Americans of all ages and walks of life through a range of outreach efforts, including media campaigns, websites, and one-on-one counseling for individuals.

The resolution “recognizes the importance of managing personal finances, increasing personal savings, and reducing indebtedness in the United States; and requests that the president issue a proclamation calling on the federal government, states, localities, schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, other entities, and the people of the United States to observe the month with appropriate programs and activities with the goal of increasing financial literacy rates for individuals of all ages and walks of life.”

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