The leading candidates in New Jersey's governor's race outlined some of their priorities at a New Jersey Bankers Association conference.
Democrat Phil Murphy says small businesses need access to capital to grow and create jobs.
He says his proposed state-owned bank would invest money in community banks that would lend to businesses at favorable rates.
"The public bank will be there to ensure that more of the people and businesses who are qualified have access to the financial system. Right now, too many are left out."
Murphy believes his plan would help community-based banks thrive and prevent them from being taken over by larger banks.
He says the state-bank idea is just part of his broader economic agenda but he believes it can make a difference.
Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno says Republicans won't take control of the legislature this year and worries that if a Democrat is elected Governor the state can expect harmful laws.
"We need someone who will actually promise and then execute as I have for the last eight years, promise to lower the cost of doing business in New Jersey, promise to lower unemployment in New Jersey, promise to lower the regulations making it hard to do business in New Jersey."
Republican Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli plans to overhaul school funding, reform public workers' benefits, and change the state tax code.
"There's great danger in giving specifics. You're used to platitudes, generalities, and rhetoric. I refuse to do that. It's not my style."
Ciattarelli says the state must invest in its infrastructure.
"As Governor one thing I will do is put DOT, New Jersey Transit, and Motor Vehicles all under one roof. Motor Vehicles generates $1.4 billion a year. We can't have that money go in the black hole known as the general fund."
New Jersey’s primary election is June 6th.