Treasurer Lemoine Wraps-up Six Years in Office
December 28, 2010
Augusta, ME – Treasurer Lemoine today issued his wrap-up statement as Maine’s 48th State Treasurer, calling the past 6 years “a period of extensive operational overhaul and successful financial management in the face of the toughest investment situation since the 1930’s.” He further thanked staff, legislators, agency board members and staff, Governor Baldacci and his team, and key vendors for helping to make the Treasurer’s job both productive and rewarding.
Among the Treasury highlights noted by Lemoine were:
• Earning more than $111 million on the state’s cash pool investments, with sustained yields at or near the top of the IMoney Net earnings national charts for government funds.
• Overcoming one of the world’s first prime mortgage-backed investment defaults through perseverance and a refusal to "try-the-case-in-public," working with the Attorney General to recapture 100% of defaulted Mainsail funds. Lemoine has referred to this as his “Apollo 13 moment.”
• Coordinating with the Controller’s Office to save millions of dollars by avoiding Tax Anticipation Notes (TANs) and Lines of Credit (LOCs) for the last four years, while covering every state disbursement through what is now recognized as the largest U.S. economic contraction since the Great Depression.
• Creating and maintaining a website that makes it easy for citizens to get an overview of the State’s general obligation and contingency debt status, and where full copies of the detailed Official Statements that accompany Maine’s bond issuances can easily be found and studied.
• Revamping the state’s debt issuance processes to include competitive note sales and independent experts to achieve recently, with help from favorable market conditions, the lowest cost borrowing in Maine’s history.
• Working with the Appropriations Committee and the Governor’s staff to initiate the use of predetermined bond proceeds draw schedules that clearly established timing for the use of bond proceeds, thereby allowing legislators to better anticipate and accurately budget for future debt service costs.
• Coordinating the State’s relationship with leading credit rating agencies while advocating for credit analysis metrics that would better reflect the constitutionally guaranteed reliability of Maine’s general obligation bonds.
• Taking first in the nation action to engage the long-standing non-profit credit rating arm of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to rate the State’s credit as a means for better informing investors of the true creditworthiness of Maine bonds.
• Bringing major Treasury contracts into budget transparency, including the State's chief banking contract.
• Creating a nationally-renowned model for administering unclaimed properties that is being copied in other states and which is now returning money to Maine owners at record rates.
• Working closely with the Controller to successfully update Maine's 20-year-old accounting system while retaining the key internal controls that safeguard the State’s finances.
• Merging Treasury’s internal office management structure, reducing office staffing by one-third, eliminating all temporary positions, and making every Treasury position transparent in the state budget.
“I look at this as a record of significant accomplishment on behalf of the people of this State,” said Lemoine, “and am deeply honored to have had this opportunity for public service.”
Lemoine’s last day in office will be January 5th.Treasurer-elect Bruce Poliquin is scheduled to be sworn in on January 6, 2011.