Treasurer Davis to Receive and Distribute Rescue Plan Funds for Delaware Towns

With the signing of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) on March 11, 2021, State Treasurer Colleen Davis will take the lead role in distributing the projected $85.6 million allocated to 55 local governments throughout Delaware.

Local funds totaling $19.53 billion from the $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package signed by President Biden will be distributed by the U.S. Treasury directly to the states for subsequent distribution to non-county, non-metropolitan governments. Treasurer Davis, as the custodian of Delaware funds, will receive the allocation for such local governments and make disbursements in accordance with ARPA. Wilmington, Dover, and the three county governments will receive ARPA funds directly from the United States Treasury.

“We are in contact with the federal government and are putting processes in place to ensure prompt distribution of ARPA funds to non-metropolitan cities and towns in Delaware,” said Treasurer Davis. “We will coordinate with local officials and make every effort to expedite the distributions so they can begin helping constituents.”

Treasurer Davis says the current timeline in ARPA calls for the federal government to release 50% of Delaware’s share of local funds (or approximately $42.8 million) within 60 days of the signing of the legislation. Under ARPA, the remaining 50% will be released no sooner than one year after the first disbursements are made.

“We are coordinating with the Department of Finance and the Office of Management and Budget and are committed to creating a process to streamline the payments,” Davis said. “Everyone in our office will do whatever is needed to efficiently and securely get the funds where they are needed as quickly as possible.”

Treasurer Davis Applauds Signing of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

Says Delaware is positioned well for recovery

President Biden has signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package aimed to help the country’s economy return to pre-COVID strength. Delaware State Treasurer Colleen Davis believes the plan will play a big role in helping Delawareans.

“Those who need the most help should benefit quickly as the plan calls for $1,400 direct payments to most Americans and their dependents,” Davis said. “Individual taxpayers making up to $75,000 (or joint filers making up to $150,000) will receive the full amount. It also expands the child tax credit for one year, increasing to $3,600 for children under 6 and to $3,000 for kids between 6 and 17, with half of that money available in advance with payments to families from July 2021 to December 2021.”

The legislation also helps those who are out of work and finding it hard to pay for necessities like groceries. The $300 per week unemployment supplement remains in place until September 6th, with the first $10,200 in jobless benefits being tax-free, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit increases by 15% through September.

“Another important element of the American Rescue Plan Act is much needed aid to employers,” according to Davis. “The restaurant industry, which has been hit so hard here in Delaware and around the country, receives approximately $30 billion dollars, with the legislation also expanding tax credits aimed at allowing companies to keep employees on their payrolls.”

Other provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act include:

  • $350 billion in relief to state, local and tribal governments,
  • $25 billion in rental and utility assistance and about $10 billion for mortgage aid
  • $120 billion to K-12 schools
  • $20 billion into Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing and distribution, along with roughly $50 billion into testing and contact tracing.

According to Treasurer Davis, “We are in discussions with officials in the U.S. Treasury and are standing by, ready to receive the funds, and put them to use here in Delaware.”

Treasurer Davis stressed that while we’ve all felt the negative effects of the economy over the past year, a lot of hard work and forethought has positioned Delaware very well.

“We have strong fiscal controls in place which not only protect us financially as we come out of these tough times, but also instill enough confidence to allow the State to maintain its Triple-A bond rating,” Davis said. “Responsible budgeting, the establishment of the Budget Stabilization Fund and the State’s Rainy Day Fund have certainly provided much needed insurance through the pandemic.”

Treasurer Davis Named to National Board to Help Families Save for Education

The College Savings Plans Network (CSPN) has nominated and confirmed Delaware State Treasurer Colleen Davis to its Executive Board. An affiliate of the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST), the CSPN brings together state officials who administer 529 savings plans which offer federal and state tax benefits for people to save for a child’s education. The group offers convenient tools and objective, unbiased information to help families make informed decisions about education savings.

“The cost of a quality education can take a major toll on families and that’s why I’m honored to be part of a group that can truly help,” said Treasurer Davis. “Our goal is to create awareness, understanding, and use of 529 plans to empower families to save for education.”

Chaired by Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs, the CSPN’s strategic priorities include increasing public awareness of the value of saving through 529 plans, preserving and enhancing tax advantages for saving, and advocating for federal regulatory requirements to maintain and improve access and appeal of 529 plans.

“Since her election in 2018, Treasurer Davis has been committed to reducing the burden of student debt through college savings,” said CSPN Chair Michael Frerichs. “We are thrilled to have her join the CSPN Executive Board as we continue working to expand awareness and help more families save through 529 college savings plans.”

Under Treasurer Davis, the Office of the State Treasurer administers Delaware’s College Investment Plan, DE529. The Plan provides tax-advantaged accounts designed to help parents, grandparents and others pay for education expenses, reducing the possibility of debt.

“Delawareans don’t pay any taxes on money as it grows in a DE529 account, plus withdrawals for qualified education expenses like tuition, fees, and books are federal and Delaware income tax-free, and many are reaping its benefits,” Davis said. “As of the third quarter of 2020, the number of new DE529 accounts increased 21% over the previous year, with total assets jumping by $21-million.”

In addition to almost all accredited colleges and universities nationwide, funds from DE529 accounts can be used at many vocational or technical schools, K-12 programs, and eligible foreign institutions. There is also no minimum investment.

State Treasurer Colleen Davis Statement on Governor John Carney’s Proposed Budget

“I want to congratulate Governor Carney and his budget team for proposing a comprehensive spending plan designed to not only strengthen the state’s economy but also help take care of Delawareans. The Governor’s commitment to increase funding to the state’s COVID-19 response, fund the clean water initiative, and direct more money to schools will have direct benefit to our citizens.

The Governor also showed his determination to rebuild the state’s economy with significant financial enhancements to the State Strategic Fund, a Site Readiness Fund, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, and the largest capital improvement plan in state history. Whether it be through my office’s participation on DEFAC, the Cash Management Policy Board or the various programs and initiatives that we offer to help State Employees and Delawareans save for retirement, college or for a loved one with disabilities, we will continue to assist the State through these uncertain times.

I look forward to seeing members of the Joint Finance and Bond Bill Committees convening their hearings and crafting spending plans that help everyone in Delaware while maintaining fiscal responsibility.”

State Treasurer Colleen Davis Appointed Committee Chair For the National Association of State Treasurers

The incoming President of the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) has named Delaware State Treasurer Colleen Davis as Chair of NAST’s Banking and Cash Management Committee. Previously the Vice Chair, Davis will lead the committee in recommending policy for NAST and developing education content for NAST conferences and webinars.

“I’m honored to have been chosen for this important role,” said Treasurer Davis. “The committee will discuss important policy issues relating to banking and cash management that will benefit all State Treasurers and more importantly, the citizens they serve. I am grateful for the appointment by The Honorable Kelly Mitchell, Indiana State Treasurer and incoming NAST President.”

“I am pleased that Treasurer Davis has agreed to serve as Chair of the Banking Committee for NAST,” said Treasurer Mitchell. “I look forward to working alongside her, and I appreciate her commitment to public service.”

Joining Treasurer Davis on the committee are:

  • Hon. John Murante, Nebraska State Treasurer – Vice Chair
  • Hon. John Schroder, Louisiana State Treasurer
  • Hon. Bruno Fernandes, Washington D.C. Treasurer
  • Hon. Henry Beck, Maine State Treasurer
  • Hon. Dennis Milligan, Arkansas State Treasurer
  • Hon. David Damschen, Utah State Treasurer

NAST serves as the nation’s foremost authority for responsible state treasury programs and related financial practices, policies, and education.