A lot of people ask, what does the Treasurer do?
The Treasurer is responsible for running a large office with 800 employees and overseeing multiple and diverse departments within the Massachusetts state government. These departments maintain the state’s daily cash flows, manage state debt, regulate alcoholic beverages, provide funds to improve water quality, protect and return unclaimed property to Massachusetts citizens, promote financial education, provide veterans benefits, and help Massachusetts employees save for retirement.
The Treasurer is also responsible for overseeing the Massachusetts State Lottery, chairing the Massachusetts School Building Authority, and managing the Pension Reserves Investment Trust Fund, which represents the $55 billion pension fund for state employees.
Deb has the business background and finance skills to do the job. She will also be a Treasurer who invests in people. Deb will create programs that break down barriers and create opportunity for people who need it most. At the same time, she will help support, preserve, and sustain our middle class who find themselves slipping every day.
Leading On Wage Equality
When Deb talks about creating a level playing field, she knows where to begin. Wage equality. This is not just a women’s issue. It is a family issue and from day one it will be her issue as your Treasurer. Today women make 77 cents on the dollar, African American women 64 cents, Latinas 52 cents. It is simply not right.
With Evelyn Murphy, former Lt. Governor of Massachusetts and the expert in the field on how to institute wage equality, Deb will work with both the public and private sectors to change this once and for all. Deb will lead on this issue and strongly believes it can be done and will be done.
College Savings Plan
Deb intends to create a college savings plan for kindergarteners at no cost to taxpayers. Research shows that a kid with a college savings plan is seven times more likely to go to college. Deb also believes strongly in vocational training and apprenticeship programs. Providing a skilled workforce will also help to keep companies growing and staying in Massachusetts, which helps our economy.
Deb has the reputation of fighting for what she believes is right, and not sugarcoating the truth. With her, you will always know what you are getting, and in the end, this will result in the best representation possible in the Treasurer’s office.
Deb will expand the Financial Literacy Trust Fund and work collaboratively to create a robust, state-wide financial literacy program. She will work to make sure people never again fall victim to a sub-prime mortgage crisis or go into serious debt to pay for college.
Deb intends to have programs developed that are appropriate for kids from a very early age all the way to seniors, who are often susceptible to scams that seek to take advantage of them. She will make sure programs are culturally sensitive and taught in native languages.
Because Deb led at the local level, she is mindful of financial pressures on local communities and does not believe in unfunded mandates or adding to teachers’ challenging workloads. She intends to work collaboratively with school superintendents and school committees, teachers and veterans groups, non-profits, unions, and public higher education to make sure these programs become available to all who need them.
Free Tax Preparation
Deb noticed as she traveled around the state that many storefronts had tax preparation signs in their windows. This was particularly true in areas with large immigrant populations or minority communities. Many of these tax prep firms are taking advantage of people’s lack of knowledge. Hard working families are given money “up front,” that is less than what they are owed from the federal government. The tax refund store files the return and gets the rest.
Deb believes no one should lose the hard earned dollars they have worked for. She intends to provide free tax preparation coordinated through the Treasurer’s office for low-income families, so they don’t have to rely on companies that promise fast cash instead of what they have worked so hard for.
State Owned Bank
As Treasurer, Deb will renew efforts to establish a state-owned public bank, which could provide critical funding for our transportation, infrastructure, schools and local economies statewide. Deb plans to study North Dakota’s state-owned bank, which successfully weathered the 2008 financial crisis by continuing to provide liquidity to businesses and loans to students at very low interest rates.
Implementing a similar model in Massachusetts would provide economic security and financial power to families and businesses in this tough economy. Deb looks forward to working with other states who are examining this issue, and our own legislature, to create a viable option which invests directly in our Commonwealth and expands opportunity for everyone.
Transparency and Trust
As Treasurer, Deb will build on a record of transparency and continue shining light on how the Treasurer’s office works. She knows that even with the best qualifications and policies, the next Treasurer can only be successful if the people of Massachusetts can place their trust in her.
Deb knows that a smart, caring, efficient government has a positive place in people’s lives. She will use her background in both the public and private sectors to effectively increase revenues, make wise investments and save taxpayer money. These skills will guarantee that taxpayers get the best deal for the dollars they pay in taxes.
Use the leverage of the pension fund
Deb will use the leverage of the Treasurer’s office to fight for greater diversity on corporate boards and executive positions. She knows these corporations need to have more women, people of color, immigrants, and members of the LGBTQ community. They need to reflect the vibrancy of our communities. Deb believes these companies also need to invest in Massachusetts and have a social conscience.