1. The Study of the Studies, published by OST in 2019, is a comprehensive report that shows how every municipality that has looked into public banking has come to the same conclusion, that it is not a good fit (Except for North Dakota).
2. Online financial education learning modules were published in January of 2019, and received a total makeover this in 2020. Now featuring new lessons on financially caring for elderly family members, and small business essentials.
3. Refundings that saved approximately $160 million in total debt service savings last year.
The breakdown of each refunding or refinancing is listed In the office’s comprehensive Debt Affordability Study, which can be found on the OST website.
4. As the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) Banking Committee Chair, along with the help of Oregon Treasurer Tobias Reed and other supporting members, I helped pass a banking reform resolution that calls for Congress to take action in allowing states with legal cannabis to be able to bank those funds legally and safely. In addition, I was reappointed as Banking Committee Chair by the new NAST President, a Democrat.
5. As a steward of the states debt portfolio, OST annually publishes the Debt Affordability Study, which is a comprehensive report detailing all of Washington’s financial obligations. The latest version is being published next week and shows that we are ranked 6th in debt per capita.
Read more: 2019 Debt Affordability Study
6. The Washington Fund Directory was something that Duane wanted to create to help municipalities and districts gain access to the financing opportunities they need to better serve the public. It is a comprehensive list of all available funding sources for local governments, all located in one user-friendly website for the first time. The office is continuing to promote this tool to municipalities throughout the state.
7. Because of the expertise of the OST investment team, the office pushed for legislation that would allow it to offer new, longer-term investment options to local governments. The legislation passed and the Separately Managed Accounts (SMA) program was created in November of 2019. OST has already brought Pierce County and the City of Redmond onboard the program, and has plans for additional participants to join in 2020.
Read more: New Investment Option for Local Governments
8. In August of 2019, the state of Washington revived for the first time in history an upgrade by the credit rating agency Moody’s to the highest possible rating of Aaa. This is in large part due to the work of OST’s Debt Management Division under the guidance of Treasurer Davidson, and means that we can continue to offer financing to schools and other local districts at the absolute lowest rates. This is a big win for Washington.
9. In order to help local governments gain access to financing opportunities more often, Treasurer Davidson, as Chair of the Finance Committee, created an additional issuance of financing for OST’s LOCAL program from two times a year to three. The additional issuance now means that local governments don’t have to wait six months when they need to purchase a new ambulance or fire truck.
10. The Local Government Investment Pool (LGIP) continues to perform well. By the end of 2019, the LGIP hit a new record high balance of $19.8 billion. All 39 counties in Washington are participants in this program, along with over 200 cities and towns who pay among the country’s lowest administrative fee of only 0.7 basis points. They all trust in the expertise of OST’s investment capabilities and see the value in investing with the state.