Treasurer Colleen Davis' vision upon taking office was to build nonpartisan buy-in with financial stakeholders in all Departments of government developing a cohesive and collaborative management technique that works for all Delawareans. Early pandemic hit Delaware with significant shutdowns at a time when services for unemployed, sick and dying were most essential. Operational efficiency was critical as was collaboration with State Government Departments in managing cash and processes to deliver as promised funds to businesses, healthcare vendors, contractors, employees and citizens (via tax refunds, stimulus, grants and unemployment payments). Davis' vast and diversified business experience, scientific methodology, collaborative approach, and superiorly talented team drove Treasury's operational excellence meeting the high demand of unemployment payments, the necessary rapid pivot to secure online transacting, and stellar portfolio management with a deep passion, because people's lives and livelihoods were hanging in the balance.
Delaware's Greatest Fiscal Successes
Delaware's long-term strategy and triple A bond rating show that we are fiscally healthy in the long-term, yet in the thick of the pandemic Treasurer Davis was concerned as our ratings were scrutinized more harshly than in recent years. Despite the uncertainty, Treasurer Davis and the other bond issuing officers - Governor Carney, Secretary of State Bullock, Secretary of Finance Geisenberger, were able to maintain Delaware's AAA rating and secured a bond issuance that saved the state $17 million in the single transaction, while funding much needed infrastructure projects.
Revenue losses were difficult to project as the pandemic caused significant uncertainty, the legislature was shutdown, boards were meeting via online platforms and many state agencies were setting-up remote work stations. Despite these challenges Treasury was operating with tremendous efficiency with a roughly 600% increase in return on investment compared with the year prior to Davis taking office, monies were flowing from the cash pool into the General fund keeping Delaware solvent through the most unstable outlook in recent history.
Treasurer Colleen Davis was responsible for applying for the American Rescue Plan Act funds and distributing to all 55 non-entitlement units of local government. To ensure that all citizens remained engaged in the process a dashboard was developed, displaying the receipt, application and distribution of all funds.
Office of the State Treasurer's Boards have also undergone a complete overhaul of the mechanism in which all board-level activity is displayed so that every Delawarean can be involved in the process.
To ensure small business growth in Delaware, Treasurer Davis implemented responsible policies, and secure transaction options which solidified timely vendor payments. Delaware has undergone a complete overhaul of transaction and online interaction with state government at Davis' leadership in the Digital Government Project, which is still underway, but will allow citizens to the ability to transact at any level of state government in a one-stop platform all at one time.
Teaching Financial Literacy
Financial Literacy is a critical skill for any individual. It requires reaching young people on many platforms and in their place of learning. Treasurer Colleen Davis has visited students and teachers across all grade levels and in every county teaching the keys to financial literacy. Davis has a project in development to reach young adults and teens via the Tik Tok application as well as via partnerships with several non-profits to prepare young people to thrive in our changing economy.
Building an economic future that works for all Delawareans
We cannot continue to place the desires of the few over the needs of the many. Treasurer Davis has developed a program to ensure that all Delawareans, regardless of income and access to financial resources are empowered to build a secure retirement via Delaware EARNS. We must look for opportunities to maximize on or grow entrepreneurial development attracting next generation of talented workforce, helping small businesses grow by training and retooling skilled workers to keep our economy productive and innovative.