Boards, Committees & Commissions Served by the Washington State Treasurer
In addition to its core functions, the Office of the State Treasurer (OST) has fiscal oversight responsibilities to the people of Washington which are achieved through the State Treasurer’s participation on several statewide boards and committees. Each of these bodies considers and directs a different function Washington’s public finances involving the economy, investment, housing, education, public and personal finance, and more.
Learn about the eight separate boards, committees, and commissions on which the State Treasurer serves.
Financing Major Projects
State Finance Committee: The State Treasurer is the Chairperson of the State Finance Committee, which includes the Governor and Lieutenant Governor as its other two voting members. This committee reviews for approval the issuance of all state bonds and other financial obligations used to finance capital projects authorized in the legislature’s capital and transportation budgets. Capital project can include major infrastructure projects, environmental improvement projects, and transportation-related projects such as building ferries, bridges and tunnels.
The State Finance Committee meets after either the biennial budget, which is drafted during the longer legislative session and covers two years of legislatively approved spending, or the supplemental budget, which is drafted during the shorter legislative session and is used to finish out the last year of the two-year budget cycle. Typically, that is once a year; sometimes twice, if needed. Meeting notices, briefing books, agenda, and meeting minutes are available on the State Finance Committee webpage.
Protecting Public Funds
Public Deposit Protection Commission: The State Treasurer is the Chairperson of the Public Deposit Protection Commission (PDPC), which is administered by the Office of the State Treasurer. This commission also includes the Governor and Lieutenant Governor as its other two voting members. The PDPC protects taxpayer funds held in financial institutions known as qualified public depositaries that are authorized to accept public deposits.
The Public Deposit Protection Committee ensures that public funds held by qualified public depositaries – money collected by taxing districts, local governments, and state agencies – are properly collateralized and that the institutions are appropriately following regulations designed to protect against the loss of public funds due to insolvency, otherwise characterized as a institutional collapse. The Office of the State Treasurer works with state and federal regulators to keep up with changing conditions in public depositaries and advises the PDPC to ensure the safety and soundness of public funds on deposit at banks and credit unions. Find meeting agenda, minutes, and authorization documents on the PDPC webpage.
Economic and Revenue Forecasting
The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council: The State Treasurer is one of seven voting members of the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC), a council comprised of both legislative and executive members. Four times a year the organization adopts a bipartisan revenue forecast that is then used to build the state operating budget. The ERFC is also charged with providing the state budget outlook to increase transparency and to promote state government financial stability.
The ERFC combines statistical models and the best available data quarterly to accurately forecast economic activity and state tax revenue for the state of Washington. The forecasts are prepared by non-partisan professional staff and approved by a bi-partisan group of elected officials on the council. Find past and upcoming meeting materials, agendas and Zoom links on the ERFC meetings page.
Washington Economic Development Finance Authority: The State Treasurer serves on the 17-member board Washington Economic Development Finance Authority (WEDFA) Board alongside of legislative, executive, and citizen members, to act as a financial conduit to businesses through the issuance of non-recourse revenue bonds, also known as Industrial Revenue Bonds.
WEDFA was created by the legislature with the authority to issue these bonds on both a taxable and tax-exempt basis in support of qualifying projects — primarily connecting manufacturing, processing, and waste disposal facilities with low-interest loans. The biggest benefit to obtaining financing through WEFA is that the bank or bond purchaser does not have to pay income tax on the interest they earn on the investment. This means they are willing to accept a lower interest rate. WEDFA passes on the lower interest rate to the borrower, reducing the borrowing cost. Find past and upcoming meeting materials, agendas and links on WEDFA’s meetings page.
Public Pension Investment
Washington State Investment Board: The State Treasurer serves as an ex-officio board member on the Washington State Investment Board (WSIB), which includes legislators, state agency leaders, and representatives of the public employee pension system. WSIB is an independent Board of Trustees whose fiduciary responsibility is to manage retirement and public fund investments with the highest standard of professional conduct with a long term, diversified investment strategy that has made Washington’s public pension fund one of the best performing in the nation.
WSIB board manages investments of 17 retirement plans for public sector workers including teachers and other school workers, law enforcement, firefighters, and judges, and oversees 18 more public investment funds for programs in industrial insurance, higher education, and developmental disabilities. SIB invests in 87 countries on 6 continents within 49 currencies with over 17,500 holdings. Search for meeting agendas and minutes on the WSIB meetings page.
Helping Families Pay for Continued Education
Committee on Advanced Tuition Payment and College Savings: The State Treasurer is one of five board members on the WA529 Committee, which meets at least quarterly to discuss legislative activities, review program policies and investments, and make program decisions. The WA529 Committee sets the Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) unit price that can be purchased by participants to pay for continuing education beyond high school.
WA529 offers two programs to help Washington families save for educational expenses, the GET and DreamAhead college investment programs, with vision of fostering a well-educated community by helping students and families overcome financial barriers to education and avoid future debt. Find meeting materials and past meeting minutes on the WA529 Committee meetings page.
Financing Affordable Housing
Washington State Housing Finance Commission: The State Treasurer serves on the eleven-member Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) board as an ex officio commissioner. The commission sets housing finance objectives to be implemented for funding the development of single-family and multifamily housing, meeting the housing needs of low to moderate-income persons and families and persons with disabilities, and coordinating with federal, state, and local housing programs for creating housing across the state.
The Washington State Housing Finance Commission is a publicly accountable, self-supporting team, dedicated to increasing housing access and affordability and to expanding the availability of quality community services for the people of Washington. Find public notices of upcoming meetings on the WSHFC meetings and hearings page.
Creating Equitable Opportunities to Save
Washington Achieving a Better Life Experience: The State Treasurer is one of seven members on the Washington Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Governing Board. This board oversees the administration of the Washington State ABLE Savings Plan, a Qualified ABLE Program. ABLE is designed to provide eligible individuals a means to save for disability-related expenses. Withdrawals are tax-free if used to pay for qualified disability expenses. All ABLE plan assets are held in the Trust in the custody of the Washington State Treasurer.
The ABLE Governing Board oversees savings and investments for participating individuals with disabilities, allowing participants to save their personal funds for education, job training, assistive technology, transportation, and more, without affecting federal and state benefits. Find Able Governing Board meeting minutes and documents on the Washington State Department of Commerce disabilities workgroup page.