By Treasurer David McRae
This Jan. 4, I was sworn in for a second term as your State Treasurer. It is an oath I do not take lightly as I put my hand upon the Bible and promise to “support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Mississippi” while “faithfully discharge[ing] the duties of the office….”
As I prepared to recite those words for a second time, I couldn’t help but think back on all that had happened since I first spoke that oath. It’s hard to believe now, but within weeks of taking office, the doors of nearly every office in America were shuttered. Schools were closed. Family and work lives were turned upside down. Our economy ground to a halt.
As the state’s top financial officer, I knew I had no choice but to protect the state’s credit rating and do what I could to ensure Mississippi’s economy weathered the storm. Four years later, I can confidently say that we have, and arguably, Mississippi has emerged stronger than before.
While the rest of the nation struggled to recover, Mississippi’s credit rating grew stronger, companies chose our communities for investment, the state’s Rainy Day Fund reached historic levels, and our debt was reduced. Certainly, this was not all my doing, but I was proud to be on the team that produced these results for you.
Not every initiative within your State Treasury focused on macroeconomic issues. Many of them were more personal. Our unclaimed money team, for example, wrote thousands of individual checks to Mississippians, returning money they had lost track of. In total, we set three consecutive state records, sending more than $85 million back to you.
Meanwhile, our College Savings Mississippi team has helped hundreds of families put their child through college and made it easier for individuals to use the money they’ve saved (now offering a debit card option)!
Of course, some of our most important work was on the policy front. We instituted new investment strategies that have turned MPACT’s books right-side up and put solvency within our grasp. I’ve fought to protect pensions, allow severely disabled veterans and other qualifying individuals to save money in tax-advantaged accounts, and stop woke investment schemes that threaten the retirement savings of many Mississippians.
I’ve assumed a leadership position within the National Association of State Treasurers and taken an active role in the State Financial Officers Association, giving Mississippi a seat at the table when national financial policies are being debated.
There is more work to do, and the term ahead will almost certainly be filled with challenges yet unknown, but I am excited to get back to work. Before I do, however, I want to take a moment to say thank you. Thank you to my family – especially my wife, Katie, and our three children – for adjusting to this new life we’ve found ourselves in. Thank you to my staff, a group of committed public servants who wake up every day with a desire to work hard for you. And most importantly, thank you to all Mississippians for your support, your prayers, and your guidance.
Serving as your State Treasurer has been the honor of a lifetime. I look forward to another four years of service.
Mississippi Treasurer David McRae is the 55th Treasurer for the State of Mississippi. In this role, he helps manage the state’s cash flow, oversees College Savings Mississippi, and has returned more than $80 million in unclaimed money to Mississippians. For more information, visit Treasury.MS.gov.