Candidate Information for State Treasurer Ken Simpler
Published by the League of Women Voters on Vote411.org
League of Women Voters, Vote411.org Delaware Voter Guide: Learn where candidates running for office in your community stand on the issues.
Vote411.org Question 1: What are the most important ways the Office of the State Treasurer serves the public?
Ken Simpler, State Treasurer: The way we govern our finances impacts every Delaware family, business and non-profit. As your State Treasurer, I’ve worked across state government, and across political aisles, with a focus on improving the value of what we get for what we spend. I have applied lessons from my career as a CFO and investment manager to fix the things that determine if we prosper together as a people. Here are a few examples of how that approach has benefited Delawareans:
- Sponsored reforms to our $4 billion state budgeting process that bring more certainty and sustainability to the things that we all rely on–education, safety, healthcare, and transportation.
- Redesigned our $2 billion investment portfolio to ensure security while stretching every dollar; the money we generated this past year almost doubled our 10-year average.
- Overhauled the 20-year old, $1 billion savings plan so 33,000 state employees have a nationally-recognized, award-winning platform to help secure their retirement.
Vote411.org Candidate Question 2: What are the biggest challenges facing the State Treasurer’s Office in the next four years? How would you address them?
Ken Simpler, State Treasurer: Every year since I was elected to be your State Treasurer, our office has prepared a strategic plan with a singular focus: create value for Delawareans. We do this by fostering financial excellence in all of the State’s fiscal operations. Looking ahead, we will build on the accomplishments listed above to:
- Improve the efficiency of our $10 billion in spending by re-engineering the way the State transacts business–an initiative that will save money, lower the risk for data breaches, and prevent cyber fraud.
- Make the most of our $2 billion in borrowings by instituting formal debt policies and an annual feasibility study; these reforms will better align our needs with our means, cut down on our expenses and preserve our AAA bond rating.
- Secure stable funding for valuable programs that preserve farmland, support fire companies and improve the lives of persons with disabilities–when we make commitments to these communities we have to run our finances so that we can keep those promises.
Vote411.org Candidate Question 3: How strongly do you agree or disagree with this statement: “Delaware is fiscally healthy”?
Ken Simpler, State Treasurer: “Neither agree nor disagree”
Our fiscal health is a function of whether we are making the most of our resources. My job as your State Treasurer has been to focus our state government’s core financial systems on creating value for our citizens.
We are privileged as Delawareans to be resource rich; our state and local governments spend more on us per person than all but a handful of other states. At the same time, we are able to have a lower tax burden than most states because so much of what we spend is paid for by others; nearly half of our state revenues come from sources outside Delaware!
That is an incredible deal to have, but it will not improve our fiscal health unless we get great results for our spending. Currently, our higher spending is not resulting in superior outcomes in education, healthcare, safety and infrastructure. We spend a lot, but we get average or less than average results. Our challenge and our opportunity as a people is to focus on value — improving what we get for what we spend.
Vote411.org Question 4: What changes, if any, would you make in the Office of the State Treasurer if elected?
Ken Simpler, State Treasurer:
During the past four years as your State Treasurer, I have asked our Office to embrace change as part of our mission to deliver value to Delawareans. The signature accomplishments as well as the future priorities that are set out above are derived from a commitment to that vision. State government is no different than every other service organization that I have started, led, or worked with in one key regard: success revolves around people. More than half of what we spend in state government is on our employees. If we do not attract, retain and develop great people we will not be successful in any of the core things we do — education, healthcare, safety and infrastructure. Since implementing a collaborative planning and review process, 75% of the positions in the Office of the State Treasurer have been reclassified to foster professional growth and operations have improved on almost all key performance metrics. (930 characters)
Vote411.org Candidate Question 5: What plans do you have for the development and implementation of the Delaware Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) plan, a program supporting persons with disabilities?
Ken Simpler, State Treasurer:
DEPENDABLE, Delaware’s ABLE plan, launched in June of this year. My team and I have led and handled all aspects of the program’s design, development and implementation from start to finish. We have done so with one overriding goal: empower Delawareans with disabilities to secure their future. DEPENDABLE is built on a proven, nationwide platform with robust features, low costs, and responsible investment choices. To be sure, we could not have done this without the active support of prominent members of Delaware’s disability community — several of whom served on our ABLE Task Force — to help steer the process and provide critical insight to the program’s design. That collaboration has resulted in Delaware’s first-ever program to provide a fiscally sound means for people with disabilities to achieve a more secure economic future and empower long-term planning decisions. Please visit treasurer.delaware.gov/able-program/ to learn more about this valuable program.
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VIDEO: State Treasurer Ken Simpler answers voter guide questions.
Q: Why are you the the most qualified candidate to be Delaware’s State Treasurer?
As your State Treasurer,
I discovered a role where my purpose to make a difference and career in finance intersected in a place very near and dear to me – my home state.
Keep up with Ken on social media.
Copyright © 2018 · Paid for by The Simpler Campaign, LLC, PO Box 9233, Newark, DE 19714