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One for the History Books: A Message from Treasurer Read

One for the History Books: A Message from Treasurer Read

 Content Editor

December 30, 2020

Picture of the Treasurer, Tobias Read

As we near the end of a historic year, I’m proud that our team at Oregon State Treasury continued providing services and resources to Oregonians without breaking our stride. This required pulling together, being creative, and never losing sight of our mission to support the financial well-being of Oregonians.

We provide banking services to state government, so our job processing transactions was never more important, especially as state agencies delivered health care, housing, and unemployment assistance to Oregonians in need.

Even as they dealt with the immediate challenges of COVID, governments across the state planned for their future, and we were there to help them issue bonds to pay for critical infrastructure projects – which create jobs in the short term plus the long-term benefits of the projects themselves. And just in the past six months, we helped public entities save more than $125 million by refinancing bonds to lower interest rates.

Our savings programs continued to shine. Tens of thousands of Oregonians save money each month through OregonSaves – including, as of this fall, personal support workers. Changes to the Oregon College Savings Plan means that Oregonians now receive a tax credit for saving – a win for low- and moderate-income families. Oregon ABLE is serving more Oregonians experiencing disability than ever before, in part because of the tireless ways our team has continued to reach out to community groups and families in this age of Zoom.

Last but certainly not least, our investment team has carefully minded the investments of public employees and state and local governments. Particularly in the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, we see how the resilience we’ve built into the portfolio has helped us weather market volatility, especially when the market overall was down 30 percent in March. We won’t see the same kind of results as last year, but we’ll end the year up and well-positioned for 2021. In early 2021, you can find year-end performance for OPERF and IAP on our website.

Even as I write that, I have to add that the stock market is not the economy. Across the state and the country, people are hurting and small businesses are struggling or closing. I’m hopeful that additional stimulus and resources from the federal government comes through. Closer to home, my team and I will do whatever we can to help Oregonians build a more secure financial future.

I wish all Oregonians a safe and healthy holiday season and a new year filled with hope. It’s an honor to serve you each and every day.


Tobias Read
Oregon State Treasurer

P.S. In case you missed them, here are a few more projects my team and I worked on in 2020:

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