This weekend on In Focus, we’re taking a look at banking and financial protections for New Yorkers.

Assemblymember Pam Hunter chairs the Committee on Banks, and her district covers the Syracuse area. She sat down with JoDee Kenney to discuss a bill signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul last year that extends overdraft protections to many more banking customers conducting online and debit card transactions. Assemblymember Hunter also spoke about the need to address underbanked communities and segments of the population, many of whom are unable to build credit and obtain loans for homes, cars, and to open businesses. For New York’s seniors, Hunter said online banking is often a difficult option and the need for brick-and-mortar branches is not being met in many neighborhoods.

Hunter also talked about her push for public banking in New York State. This, she said, will allow groups to establish banks in neighborhoods across the state, opening up access to financial services in places private banks choose not to build branches. Increasing financial protection is another issue the assemblymember is working on. The collapse of several institutions, including New York City-based Signature Bank, she said, showed the need for more regulations, particularly regarding cryptocurrency holdings. Hunter is also calling for a bill that would increase civil penalties for those who knowingly, or through negligence, commit financial fraud.

You can watch the full interview with Syracuse-area Assemblymember Pam Hunter, chair of the Assembly Committee on Banks, via the video player above. And be sure to tune in for a look inside the biggest issues impacting Upstate New York, on In Focus with JoDee Kenney — every Sunday on Spectrum News 1.