The State Treasurer, Mike Pieciak, submitted his budget and comments on the treasurers office to the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.
He stated that “the mission of the office of the state treasurer is to carry out the mandates of the law as efficiently and cost effectively as possible while providing related services to the public, state employees and members of the retirement systems, and to manage the cash balances and trust funds under custody of the state treasurer in keeping with the highest fiduciary standards."
The General Fund budget he is presenting meets the target from the Commissioner of Finance - $5.2M. Upward pressures they are experiencing for FY2024 include compensation cost for existing employees, two new positions in the retirement division, $29K for conference and travel expenses due to the new state treasurer and a return to in-person conferences and meetings, $8K in internal service fund charges and agency support, and $27K for other overhead and administrative support. These are offset by downward pressures of $29K for a temporary employee, $10K in third-party support for debt management, and $400K which was a legislative appropriation to the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity for the volunteer income tax assistance program.
The treasurer’s office is comprised of one statewide elected official (the Treasurer), a deputy, three exempt positions, and twenty-eight classified positions.
He highlighted the continued implementation of an imaging solution specifically designed for the unclaimed property system that allows for scanning and indexing of all documents related to all areas of unclaimed property. This process will eliminate the need for the retention of paper records.
The three retirement systems administered by the office are supported by 16 full-time operational staff. Cost increases in this area are largely related to salary pressures and the addition of two new staff positions.
He also noted that the state's overall outstanding debt will decline from 2024 to 2031. This is because the projected debt issuance of $54M/year results in the currently scheduled debt retirement exceeding new issuances. In addition to general obligation debt, the state may also sell revenue-backed Transportation Infrastructure Bonds (TBIDs). These bonds are secured only from a motor fuel transportation infrastructure assessment of 2% of the sale price of gasoline and 3 cents per gallon of diesel fuel. TBIDs are often used to finance the reliability, reconstruction, or replacement of state and municipal bridge and culverts, state roads, railroads, airports, and necessary buildings. Generally these are expected to have useful life of at least 30 years.
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