James L. McIntire was elected as Washington's 22nd State Treasurer in 2008. Upon taking office, the failure of a small bank sparked concerns about the safety and security of state and local public deposits in banks throughout the state. Swift and effective reforms initiated by McIntire preserved secure access to banking services for local and state governments. Though 19 banks holding public deposits have failed since 2009, none of the public money they held was lost or placed at risk of loss. New safeguards continue to protect all public deposits in the 79 banks that serve state and local government in Washington.
In 2011, McIntire prepared the State’s first ever debt affordability study to provide a comprehensive tool for managing the state's debt, and help ensure that sufficient resources will be available for future needs. To help taxpayers get the lowest possible costs on financing for capital construction, transportation and infrastructure projects, McIntire brought in a private sector manager to re-engineer the way the Treasurer's Office issues bonds. These reforms infused greater competition and market pressure in the process, allowing the Office to capture $1.3 billion in savings through refinancing outstanding debt and lower than expected interest rates on new issues.
McIntire was elected to chair of the State Investment Board in September, 2011. He also chair’s the State Finance Committee and the Public Deposit Protection Commission. He is Co-Chair of the Democratic State Treasurers and the immediate past president of the Western State Treasurer's Association.
Prior to this election, he was a successful business economist for Navigant Consulting Inc. McIntire earned his PhD in economics at the University of Washington, where he founded and directed a fiscal policy center and taught economics for 25 years. He began his political career working in the U.S. Senate for Hubert Humphrey, and served as a policy advisor to congressional committee chairmen and Washington governors. He has chaired statewide boards on economic development and nonprofit housing.
As a five-term State Representative, McIntire provided leadership on several financial committees. He sponsored the first state law making identity theft a crime, a constitutionally protected, "Rainy Day Account," performance audits, priorities of government budgeting, and the new Citizen Commission for Performance Measurement of Tax Preferences. During a budget shortfall, McIntire helped to re-enact the estate tax and raise cigarette taxes to pay for schools and children's health care.
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