Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson has introduced the National Financial Literacy Act of 2009, which will provide incentives to financial institutions, small businesses and corporations to provide financial education to their customers and employees. Original co-sponsors of the bill include Reps. Steve Cohen, Elijah Cummings, Bob Filner, Phil Hare and Jim McGovern.
The National Financial Literacy Act of 2009 amends the Community Reinvestment Act to allow banking institutions to receive credit for offering community-based financial literacy programs. It provides for small businesses and corporations that offer free financial education to receive preferential treatment for government contracts, and for those small businesses to receive tax breaks.
"Our economy is in a recession, and every day, Americans make financial missteps due to their lack of financial knowledge," Congresswoman Johnson said. "We must begin to see financial literacy as a necessity, and I hope to make financial education more accessible with the National Financial Literacy Act."
Under the bill, qualified community-based financial literacy programs would include the topics of saving for retirement, managing credit, long-term care, estate planning, predatory lending, identity theft and financial abuse schemes.
In the 110th Congress, Congresswoman Johnson introduced the National Financial Literacy Act of 2007 and the Employers Financial Literacy Act. The National Financial Literacy Act of 2009 incorporates both.