Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is joining with his counterparts in at least 39 other states to push to keep their authority over financial issues in the reform bill that’s being worked on in congress. Miller says the top state lawmakers are worried the bill would allow federal officials to pre-empt their authority.

“That is a mistake, because it is important for the states to be laboratories of democracy and develop new and successful ideas for everybody. And it’s important in terms of the Federalism concept. When the federal government has all the authority and they do little or no regulation, as they did in the Bush years, there’s enormous problems for consumers and the wider economy,” Miller says.

Miller says a key piece of the legislation is the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which he says should be created. He says the legislation would provide that the states could enforce the regulations of the agency, and he says that’s “incredibly important,” as the federal government doesn’t have enough resources to deal with things like credit cards and mortgages without state help.

Miller says they hope the senators who are leading the push for the bill will preserve the state’s interests. “They have to decide in regard to state involvement, are they gonna be on the side of the banks, particularly the Wall Street Banks, or are they going to be on the side of the public,” Miller says. He says that’s the fundamental choice the senators face. Miller says now is not the time to let up on the oversight of the financial system.

“This would be the worst possible time to give Wall Street Banks special privilege as regards state law, so that they could possibly repeat what we’ve just gone through in the last few years,” Miller says. Miller was joined on a conference call with reporters by the Attorney General of Illinois.