As state chief financial officers, treasurers are working partners within state government that present an independent and accountable voice. Treasurers take these responsibilities seriously, managing the resources within their purview effectively and efficiently while promoting prudent financial practices.
The achievement and performance of the nation’s state treasurers shapes every aspect of the states’ fiscal strength. The office is a highly sophisticated organization with a wide range of financial responsibilities, including managing the investment of all state funds, issuing bonds, serving as the central bank for state agencies and administering programs such as college savings and unclaimed property. Treasurers provide crucial expertise by chairing and serving on state boards, commissions and authorities charged with financial management of various entities.
Treasurers further serve citizens by promoting and conducting financial education initiatives in areas such as personal money management, saving and asset building, investment planning, credit management and homeownership. Many treasurers plan conferences that address the special financial challenges that women face in their work and personal lives as family money managers. Some Treasurers have statutory responsibility for leadership, expert and/or resource coordination and allocation roles in the delivery of some or all financial education programs in their states.
The following lists a sampling of state treasurers’ specific responsibilities:
• Banking operations and cash management of both receipts and disbursements. The treasurer invests and reinvests cash balances that maximize earnings for the state through cash projections and mobilizations, banking relations, forecasting and distribution of demand deposits, collateral management and electronic benefits transfers.
• Administration and investment of public employee retirement funds and deferred compensation funds.
• Coordinating the bonding activity for general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, short-term debt and public works projects.
• Management of Local Government Investment Pools that assist communities in diversifying their portfolios to obtain a higher rate of return.
• Financing for economic development.
• Administration of college savings programs that enable millions of Americans to save for education expenses.
• Administration of unclaimed property programs that return hundreds of millions of dollars each year to millions of rightful owners.
Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce, NAST’s incoming president, has partnered with Governor Phil Scott to launch a statewide Financial Literacy..