PROVIDENCE, R.I. - General Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo today announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an investigation relating to the state’s bond offerings. Her office was notified Monday afternoon. No further details were provided by the SEC and no requests for information have been received.
“It is regrettable to have inherited this situation so early in my administration before having an opportunity to fully address these issues,” said Raimondo. “Regardless if the SEC decides to proceed with a full investigation, work has begun to improve the state’s disclosures in bond issuances. The state needs to be able to access the bond market in the years to come on the most favorable terms possible. It is critical to present a complete picture of our finances to potential bond investors.”
Earlier this week, Raimondo launched an extensive assessment of every aspect of the Treasury, including a comprehensive review of Rhode Island’s bond disclosure practices. In the coming months, the Treasury will work to upgrade all pertinent information to be certain that the state’s bond disclosure practices are in line with best practices nationwide.
“I was not entirely surprised to receive the SEC’s call,” she continued. “For months Rhode Island has been listed among several states with precarious finances. This challenging position is in part due to our significant and growing unfunded pension liability. It is unacceptable to be on these lists. The first step to addressing these challenges is to be accurate about the numbers we are using and to not underestimate the magnitude of our problems.”