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NEW: Magaziner Rolls Out RI “Transparent Treasury” Initiative

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

 

Seth Magaziner

Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner has unveiled his Transparent Treasury initiative today at the State House, where he was joined by Rhode Island leaders in the business, labor and civic communities. 

"Transparent Treasury" includes a series of new policies and tools designed to help Rhode Islanders access information about how their public funds are managed. 

"With today's launch, Rhode Island now has the most transparent state treasury in the country. This commitment to open government will help us produce better financial results for our state," said Magaziner. 

Some of the features of Magaziner's new transparency initiative include: 

  •  A first-of-its-kind investment policy stating that Rhode Island will only invest with fund managers that agree to public disclosure of performance, fees, expenses and liquidity.
  •  The launch of a new investment information center on http://www.treasury.ri.gov, and new data portal that offers unprecedented access to state treasury information.    
  • The appointment of a Chief Transparency Officer for the department, to ensure that all “Transparent Treasury” initiatives are carried through every division for the duration of Treasurer Magaziner’s term.

 

Initiative Pillars

According to the Treasurer's office, the following are the four pillars of the initiative"

Transparent Investments

•    New policy that Rhode Island will only invest in funds that agree to have their performance, fees, expenses and liquidity made public.
•    Newly-launched investments.treasury.ri.gov website with data visualizations and manager-level information.
•    Newly-distributed, quarterly press releases with investment highlights to make information more useful and accessible.

Transparent Contracts

•    Treasury has published an online calendar of all contract end dates, as well as proposed dates for new RFPs, for the first time ever. 

Transparent Data

•    Creation of a Treasury Data Portal (http://www.data.treasury.ri.gov) which makes public information and reports across Treasury divisions available to the public in sortable, downloadable and machine readable formats.

Transparent Ethics

•    Treasurer Magaziner will continue the state’s ban on paying placement agents for investments from the state’s pension fund
•    Treasury will continue to require every investment manager to sign an “Investor Code of Conduct Pledge.”
•    Treasurer Magaziner will toughen the Code of Conduct Pledge to disallow “De Minimis” political contributions.
•    Treasury will launch full governance reviews of the State Investment Commission and the Retirement Board before the end of 2015.

“Rhode Islanders deserve to know where their funds are invested and how they are performing,” said Treasurer Magaziner. “I am proud our office has taken big steps to improve financial transparency, and I am committed to making open government a core value of my office throughout my term.”

For more information on Treasurer Magaziner’s “Transparent Treasury” initiative, go to http://www.treasury.ri.gov.

 

Related Slideshow: The 10 Most Politically Powerful at RI State House

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#10 - Sen. Da Ponte

The Senate Finance Chairman pushed hard in 2014 for corporate tax reform -- and combined reporting -- and was recently reappointed to his fourth term at the helm of the committee that vets the state's budget. With House Speaker Mattiello's talking about eliminating the state income tax on social security, a budget deficit and the prospect of diminishing gaming revenue, Da Ponte will have his work cut out for him chairing the powerful Senate committee. 
 

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#9 - Rep. DeSimone

One of the most powerful political players in Providence, the Majority leader wields his influence at the state house as part of Speaker Mattiello's team. Serving in the chamber since 1992, DeSimone rose to his current position with the ouster of former Speaker Gordon Fox in 2014. He will be a pivotal player at the State House for the City of Providence (and new Elorza administration), as the state grapples with a projected $200 million budget deficit, and Providence needs a strong advocate to appeal for what it can.  
 

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#8 - Bob Goldberg

The former Minority Leader continues his position as one of the state's top lobbyists, representing a wide range of clients that last year included Lifespan, GTech, Johnson and Wales, and CVS Health, to name a few. Year in, year out, Goldberg -- who is married to RI Supreme Court Justice Maureen McKenna Goldberg -- parlays his State House knowledge and connections for his well-funded clients, who in the past have included Twin River when it successfully pushed for table games on the ballot in 2012.

(Goldberg pictured at right.)

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#7 - Bill Murphy

The former Speaker of the House continues to wield unparalleled influence as a lobbyist and behind-the-scenes king maker.  While he last served as the state's most powerful elected official until 2010, Murphy's ability to exert control at the State House was evidenced by backing now-Speaker Mattiello when the battle to replace Gordon Fox took place.  Murphy's lobbying clients range from the corrections officers to payday lending to Twin River.

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#6 - Sen. Paiva Weed

The Senate President, who has been at the chamber's de facto top post since 2008, faced a strong challenge this past election season from Newport's Mike Smith, who had been an outspoken opponent against a table games expansion at Newport Grand -- a decision which Paiva-Weed ultimately came to following the rejection of a host agreement by the Newport City Council.  Paiva Weed in her opening address of this year's General Assembly session promised to make jobs and the economy her top priorities, followed closely by education.  With the school construction moratorium schedule to expire in May, watch to see how Paiva-Weed works with the House and Raimondo administration to address the burgeoning infrastructure needs.
 

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#5 - Sen. Ruggerio

The Senate Majority leader was first elected to the chamber in 1984, after four years in the House, and was Senate majority whip from 2003 to 2010. An administrator for the New England Laborers Labor Management Co-op Trust, Ruggerio's labor ties have helped cement his position of power in the Senate. Despite two arrests, Ruggerio has emerged relatively unscathed, advancing the legislation establishing the I-195 Redevelopment Commission, and pushing for increased parking in downtown Providence by the Garrahy judicial complex

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#4 - David Cruise

Governor Raimondo's newly chosen Legislative Director should prove to be much more than that.  While Raimondo tapped former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley staffer Stephen Neuman to be her Chief of Staff, the out-of-towner might bring in a fresh perspective, but Cruise knows the lay of the land. Having a Rhode Island political resume that includes serving as a State Senator, Governor Sundlun's Chief of Staff, and top roles at the RI Resource Recovery Corporation and as a traffic court magistrate, Cruise's policy role, while his official one, will be just one in his advisory capacity for the newly elected Governor.  
 

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#3 - Leo Skenyon

The Speaker of the Houses's Chief of Staff is the gatekeeper -- and like his predecessor before him, Frank Anzeveno (under former Speaker Gordon Fox), Skenyon is the key to access the Speaker. Skenyon, a former top aide to Governor Bruce Sundlun and U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell, had most recently been the Traffic Tribunal Clerk.  The former Chief of Staff to Senate-Majority leader Jack Revens in the 1980s, Skenyon has been at the helm before in orchestrating the chamber's top office.  Skenyon enters his first full session at the post along with Mattiello as the agent behind the state's biggest power broker.  

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#2 - Gov. Raimondo

The state's 75th governor -- and first woman at the helm -- marks the first return of a Democratic head-of-state since Governor Bruce Sundlun entered the office in the winter of 1991.  Raimondo however won with just 40.7% of the vote, which gave her the plurality, but not a mandate.   Bringing in a number of outsiders for key positions, and shaking up multiple Department directors, the Raimondo administration looks markedly unlike any in recent years.  How successful Raimondo is in pushing through her agenda in the first six months will go a long way to determining how powerful she will be in the next four years. 

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#1 - Speaker Mattiello

The Speaker of the House has always wielded the most power in Rhode Island, and Speaker Mattiello is now the de facto head of state for the second -- and first full -- year.  Mattiello emerged from the 2014 session earning plaudits from a wide range of supporters for pushing through a cut in the corporate income tax and changes to the estate tax.  Now, as a new General Assembly has just gotten underway, Mattiello is eying eliminating the state income tax on social security, before the Governor has submitted her budget proposal.  Look to see what the Speaker can -- and will -- accomplish in 2015.  

 
 

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