Two Years into Office, Washington Treasurer Duane Davidson Advances Public Funds, Financial Education Initiatives
Many of the State Treasurer’s missions are in alignment with those of credit unions.
Since Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed NWCUA–backed legislation into law last summer that increases municipal governments’ access to credit unions for public funds deposits, a number of credit unions are already offering governments better investment options and returns on their investments.
Fourteen credit unions are accepting public deposits, four others are approved for future deposits, and three are already leveraging the law allowing deposits exceeding the previous $250,000 cap. Financial institutions and the treasurer worked to create a central risk pool to collateralize the deposits, so governments’ investments—and credit union members’ assets—are protected.
Washington State Treasurer Duane Davidson chairs the Public Deposit Protection Commission, which oversees the funds and is pleased with the traction it’s gaining.
“I think it’s going to continue to grow,” Davidson said. “The growth of the program is evidence that there was a need there. I think in the long range this will be successful.”
Since taking office just two years ago, Davidson has established many priorities that are in alignment with credit unions’ “People Helping People” philosophy.
“I created a department focusing on financial literacy to help connect people to financial services and become better educated about their finances,” Davidson said. “Additionally, I recently launched a series of online education modules with interactive lessons on financial topics ranging from money basics, which covers checking accounts and banking tips, to retirement planning and much more.”
In his role on the Board of the National Association of State Treasurers, Davidson has raised awareness about the need for a better cannabis banking solution. A subcommittee recently passed a resolution Davidson proposed supporting protections for financial institutions serving legal cannabis businesses.
“I’m pushing for reforms to banking laws that allow the cannabis industry to be fully banked and increase safety,” Davidson said. “It’s a huge public safety issue.”
The Treasurer is opposed to the concept of a state bank.
“Municipalities are already able to borrow at the lowest interest rates in the world,” Davidson said. “How is a state bank going to improve on that?”
As Washington’s 23rd State Treasurer, Davidson chairs the State Finance Committee while serving on five state boards. He is a native Washingtonian, a licensed CPA, and a past Benton County Treasurer.