Dear friends and neighbors:
Sometimes the most important work we do draws the least attention.
Take my role as the Senate lead on the State Investment Board, where we manage $140 billion in state pension funds. I see your eyes glazing over, but stay with me — this is important stuff. If we invested only in government bonds, for example, we’d see a return of just 1.5 percent. Instead, we save $6 billion annually for taxpayers by making careful investments in markets that yield higher returns.
During my time on the board, our state has earned one of the best fiscal reputations in the nation and become one of only 15 states to boast Moody’s Triple A credit rating—a status that pays off handsomely in lower bond fees. What this means in real dollars is that every time we spend money on schools, roads, and other projects, we pay the lowest possible interest rates. And the savings pile up fast, enabling us to fund additional projects in communities across our state.
My decisions draw heavily on my eight years with Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) and five years at Bank of America as director of foreign currency trading. When you’re trying to make the most of your dollars, it pays to know how the pennies add up.
I take a similar approach in my role on the State Community Economic Revitalization Board, just as I did in prior years when I chaired the Legislative Evaluation & Accountability Program Committee. Both of these entities have two things in common with the Washington State Investment Board—they have really boring names, and they play really important roles in making sure our tax dollars go as far as possible. And while none of this involves legislation, it’s central to my work as a legislator—and our shared goal of making our state the best it can be.