Treasurer Fitzpatrick sworn in for 4-year term
Barry County native receives most votes in history for State Treasurer
During Monday’s inauguration at the Missouri State Capitol, Missouri State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick was sworn-in for a four-year term by Barry County Associate Judge Johnnie Cox.
The Treasurer was elected November 3 with more votes than any treasurer in Missouri history.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue serving as Missouri’s Treasurer,” Fitzpatrick said. “As a husband and father, a business owner, and now as State Treasurer, I value fiscal responsibility. Over the past two years, I have worked to increase government transparency, to support small businesses, and to help Missouri families save for the future. 2020 was certainly a challenging year, but I am hopeful for Missouri’s future and I look forward to continuing this important work to ensure that all Missourians are able to thrive.”
Protecting tax dollars
As the state’s Chief Financial Officer, Fitzpatrick is actively engaged in the management of state funds. While the impact of COVID-19 could be felt across the financial sector, including record low interest rates, the state still beat its benchmark for investment earnings over the past two years.
Missouri continues to maintain its AAA bond rating, the highest rating issued by Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch Ratings, one of the few states with the distinction of a triple-triple A credit rating.
Investing in Missourians
Less than two months after taking office, Fitzpatrick enacted important reforms to Missouri FIRST, the state’s linked deposit program, ensuring the long-term viability of the program and allowing Missouri small business owners and farmers continued access to its benefits. These reforms had their intended impact and the program is no longer in danger of reaching the statutory cap.
Linked deposits allow the state to partner with Missouri financial institutions to provide low-interest loans to small businesses and farmers. In 2019, following widespread flooding and storm damage across Missouri, Fitzpatrick launched LIFT which used linked deposits to provide low-interest loans to small businesses and farms economically impacted by natural disasters. This program has placed nearly $3.5 million in linked deposits for recovering businesses and farms.
Fitzpatrick is working to place more of the state’s investment portfolio into the Missouri economy by bringing back time deposits which place money in Missouri banks. By pursuing competitive bidding for these deposits, Fitzpatrick is maximizing the state’s return while investing in Missouri banks.
A reflection of Fitzpatrick’s dedication to returning money to Missourians, the Unclaimed Property Division broke three records under his leadership — returning the first $1 million of his administration in just nine days (including a state holiday), returning a record $45 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2019, and returning money to more Missourians for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2020, than any prior year.
Fitzpatrick is committed to finding innovative ways to streamline returning Unclaimed Property to Missourians. In 2019, he announced a new partnership with the Department of Social Services that created an automated system to match past-due child support cases with the Unclaimed Property database. This partnership has returned over $3.5 million to Missouri families. In 2020, Fitzpatrick partnered with the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to return Unclaimed Property to those who have applied for unemployment benefits. In three months, this partnership has already returned over $1 million.
The Treasurer also partnered with military institutions across the state to engage Missourians in returning unclaimed military medals. He is also working with Missouri’s federal delegation to encourage the passage of legislation that would empower states to act on behalf of the U.S. Treasury Department to find owners of matured unredeemed U.S. savings bonds.
Helping Missourians save for the future
Fitzpatrick has made growing MO ABLE a priority. Since taking office, MO ABLE has doubled in size and is one of the largest programs in the nation. Encouraging Missouri businesses to add payroll deductions for MO ABLE accounts to their benefits packages is another major priority for the office.
Currently Cox Health, the largest employer in southwest Missouri, Truman State University, University of Central Missouri, Missouri State University and Central Bank have established payroll deductions for MO ABLE. The Treasurer is partnering with Chambers of Commerce across the state to engage employers in making it easier for their employees with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities to save for the future.
Likewise, Fitzpatrick negotiated with MOST 529 Plan partners to lower investment fees for MOST participants, saving Missourians $8 million over the life of the contract. The MOST 529 Plan is one of the highest rated plans in the country, earning a silver rating from research firm Morningstar.
A proponent of increasing government transparency, Fitzpatrick has worked to expand access to expenditure data, growing the Show-Me Checkbook, one of the most comprehensive state financial data portals in the country, to include local governments. Currently, eight local governments are participating with several more in progress.
Following the passage of the CARES Act, the Treasurer also created a spending portal to track Coronavirus Relief Fund spending. This portal uses technology employed by the Show-Me Checkbook to aggregate and single out spending data related to COVID-19 for state agencies and is searchable by fund, agency, object code, vendor, and date.
Fitzpatrick was appointed by Gov. Mike Parson on Dec. 20, 2018. He was first elected to the House in 2012, at age 25.
A lifelong Missourian, Fitzpatrick graduated from Cassville High School and the University of Missouri. He and his wife Mallory have two sons, Luke and Carson.