Gina Raimondo

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Gina Raimondo
Gina Raimondo.png
State treasurer of Rhode Island
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 4, 2011
Governor Lincoln Chafee
Preceded by Frank Caprio
Personal details
Born (1971-05-17) May 17, 1971 (age 43)
Smithfield, Rhode Island, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Andrew Moffit
Alma mater Harvard University
New College, Oxford
Yale University

Gina M. Raimondo (born May 17, 1971) is the General Treasurer of Rhode Island. She is a candidate for Governor of Rhode Island in the 2014 election.[1]

Early Life and Education[edit]

Gina Marie Raimondo is a native of Smithfield, Rhode Island. Her father, Joseph, was a World War II veteran and worked as a metallurgist at the Bulova watch factory in Providence.[2] She was valedictorian of her class at LaSalle Academy in Providence.[3]

Raimondo graduated with a B.A. magna cum laude in Economics from Harvard University. She attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar where she received an M.S. in sociology, and earned a J.D. from Yale Law School.

Business career[edit]

Raimondo clerked for U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood before joining the New York offices of Village Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Williamstown, Massachusetts.[4] She returned to Rhode Island to found the state's first venture capital firm, Point Judith Capital.[5]

General Treasurer of Rhode Island[edit]

2010 Election[edit]

Raimondo defeated her Republican opponent, Kernan King, by a wide margin of 62 percent to 38 percent. She received 201,625 votes, more than any other Rhode Island candidate during the 2010 elections.[6]

Pension Policies[edit]

During her first year as General Treasurer, she headed the effort to change the funding structure of Rhode Island’s state-administered public employee pension system, which was 48% funded in 2010.[7] In April 2011, Raimondo led the state retirement board to reduce the state’s assumed rate of return on pension investments from 8.25 percent to 7.5 percent.[8] In May 2011, Raimondo released “Truth in Numbers”, a report that described the state’s impending pension crisis, and “offered a framework and possible solutions to help solve the pension crisis.”[9] Raimondo played a central role in raising public support for pension reform. The Rhode Island Retirement Security Act (RIRSA) was enacted by the General Assembly on November 17, 2012, with bipartisan support in both chambers. The next day, Governor Lincoln Chafee signed RIRSA into law. A Brown University poll conducted in December, 2011 found that 60 percent of Rhode Island residents supported the pension reform.[10] Rating agencies responded positively to the pension reforms.[11] Following enactment of RIRSA, Raimondo held regional education sessions to educate public employees about how the reforms would affect their retirement benefits.[12]

During the subsequent 2012 session, Raimondo expressed her opposition to legislation that would weaken the effects of RIRSA, arguing that these changes would “delay the system’s return to a healthy funding level.”[13][14] She opposed Governor Chafee’s budget proposal to reduce the state’s annual contributions, stating that the proposal would only provide “modest savings while delaying our efforts to return the pension system to a healthy funding level.”[15]

RIRSA included provisions that required municipalities with locally administered pension plans to submit actuarial studies to a newly created study commission by April 1, 2012.[16][17] Raimondo held workshops to assist municipalities with their pension reform efforts.[18]

Municipalities[edit]

Raimondo created the Ocean State Investment Pool (OSIP), a low-cost investment vehicle intended to help the state and municipalities better manage and improve the investment performance of their liquid assets, which are used for day-to-day operations including payroll and operating expenses. $500 million in funds could be eligible for the program, which would enable Treasury “to extend its expertise to municipalities and improve investment returns by creating economies of scale."[19] The program launched in April 23, 2012.[20]

Transparency[edit]

In 2011, Raimondo led a review of the state’s bond disclosure practices and updated the information statement and related bond disclosure information that will accompany future bond offerings.[21] In conjunction with the changes to bond disclosure policies, Raimondo launched the state’s first ‘Investor Relations Portal’, which includes financial information and related reports from the Office of the General Treasurer, the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island, the State Budget Office, the Department of Revenue, and the State Office of the Auditor General.[22]

Payday Lending[edit]

During the Rhode Island General Assembly’s 2012 session, Raimondo advocated for a decrease in the maximum allowable interest rate on payday loans in Rhode Island. She hosted a roundtable discussion with Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and members of the Rhode Island Payday Reform Coalition.[23] Raimondo submitted letters to the Senate and House Corporations Committees in support of payday reform legislation. She wrote, “Far too many families are facing financial challenges that might be mitigated or avoided through a greater understanding of personal finance” and “payday loans exploit that lack of understanding…With numerous economic challenges, Rhode Island should not permit the sale if a financial product that traps so many customers in a cycle of debt.”[24] Raimondo wrote an op-ed in the May 29, 2012 edition of the Providence Journal in support of payday lending reform.[25]

Community Service[edit]

Raimondo serves as vice chair of the Board of Directors of Crossroads Rhode Island, the state’s largest homeless services organization. Until 2011, she was a trustee at Women and Infants Hospital and Chair of its Quality Committee. She has served on the boards of La Salle Academy and Family Service of Rhode Island.

Fellowships and Awards[edit]

Raimondo is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow. Raimondo was awarded an Honorary Degree from Bryant University in 2012, and has received awards from the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce and the YWCA of Northern Rhode Island.

Personal[edit]

Raimondo married Andrew Moffit on December 1, 2001.[26] She lives in Providence with her husband and two young children.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Template:Http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/12/18/raimondo-launches-campaign-for-rhode-island-governor/
  2. ^ Von Drehle, David (December 5, 2011). "The Little State That Could". Time Magazine. Retrieved February 12, 2012. 
  3. ^ Stanton, Mike (April 10, 2011). "Challenging the pension system". The Providence Journal. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  4. ^ McDonald, Michael (January 18, 2012). "Gina Raimondo Math Convinces Rhode Island of America’s Prospects". Business Week. Retrieved February 12, 2012. 
  5. ^ Walsh, Mary Williams (October 22, 2001). "The Little State With a Big Mess". The New York Times. Retrieved January 28, 2012. 
  6. ^ 2010 General Election Statewide Summary, Rhode Island Board of Elections, November 17, 2010.
  7. ^ Corkery, Michael (July 25, 2011). "Softer Approach on Pension Problem". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  8. ^ Nesi, Ted (January 31, 2012). "Providence pension tab tops $900M with lower investment rate". WPRI. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  9. ^ Sardelli, Melissa (May 23, 2011). "Report reveals scope of pension crisis". WPRI. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  10. ^ McDonald, Michael (January 10, 2012). "Gina Raimondo Math Convinces Rhode Island Of America's Prospects With Debt". Bloomberg. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  11. ^ Burton, Paul (December 13, 2011). "Rhode Island Makes Reform Happen". The Bond Buyer. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  12. ^ “Press Release: Raimondo to Hold Regional Pension Education Sessions for Public Employees, Rhode Island Office of the General Treasurer, February 28, 2012.
  13. ^ Marcello, Philip (April 26, 2012). "Bill would reinstate COLAs". The Providence Journal. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  14. ^ Marcello, Philip (April 30, 2012). "Raimondo sees danger in tampering with overhaul". The Providence Journal. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  15. ^ Nesi, Ted (March 21, 2012). "Raimondo opposes Chafee move to cut pension-fund deposits". WPRI. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  16. ^ Rhode Island 2011 Public Laws, chapters 408 and 409.
  17. ^ Rhode Island General Laws § 45-65-6.
  18. ^ “Press Release: Raimondo Hosts Second Pension Workshop for Municipalities", Rhode Island Office of the General Treasurer, April 9, 2012.
  19. ^ “Press Release: Ocean State Investment Pool Open to Municipalities”, Rhode Island Office of the General Treasurer, April 23, 2012.
  20. ^ "State launches investment pool with Fidelity". PBN. March 24, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  21. ^ “Press Release: State Increases Transparency, Launches Investor Relations Portal", Rhode Island Office of the General Treasurer, July 14, 2011.
  22. ^ "R.I. launches site on state’s financial information". PBN. July 15, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  23. ^ Marcello, Philip (April 18, 2012). "’Payday’ loan rates assailed". The Providence Journal. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  24. ^ Fitzpatrick, Ed (March 25, 2012). "Military shows way on payday loans". The Providence Journal. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  25. ^ Raimondo, Gina M. "Op-ed: Protect R.I. from these abusive lenders". The Providence Journal. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Gina Raimondo, Andrew Moffit". New York Times. 2 December 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  27. ^ Kandarian, Paul E. (First Quarter, 2012). "Gina, Candidly". Brand RI. Retrieved December 5, 2012.