Emails, responses to PolitiFact Texas, Lauren Willis, communications director, R.J. DeSilva, spokesman, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Aug. 24 and 27, 2012

From: Selby, Gardner

Sent: Friday, August 24, 2012 9:52 AM

To: RJ DeSilva; Lauren Willis

Subject: Rainy Day Fund Query

 

As I mentioned by phone today to one of your colleagues, I am checking a claim by Commissioner Patterson. In part of it, he said in a letter released this week that "due to statutory liquidity requirements, the Rainy Day Fund earned just 1 percent" last year. He was comparing that to earnings on the GLO-managed Permanent School Fund portfolio.

 

The 12-month time period Patterson was citing for the PSF ended March 30, 2012.

 

Could you provide or point me to relevant information on the rainy day fund's earnings last year?

...

 

wgs

From: Lauren Willis

Sent: Friday, August 24, 2012 4:53 PM

To: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin); RJ DeSilva

Subject: RE: Rainy Day Fund Query

 

I know you realize and appreciate this is an apples to oranges comparison.   Here is how it works:

 

The Rainy Day Fund was created in the Constitution by voters in 1988 as a special fund in the state treasury.  All funds in the state treasury are invested as prescribed by state law.  The Texas Treasury is managed consistently with other state treasuries and  is not an endowment type fund.

 

The state's daily expenses are paid out of the treasury pool - so the pool has to be a safe, very liquid pool that also protects tax dollars.

This means it invests in stable, high quality investments such as U.S.

government and agency bonds.  In calendar year 2011, the average yield on the treasury pool was 0.74% -- earning $193.9 million in interest income for the state. $51.9 million in interest income was deposited in the Rainy Day Fund in calendar year 2011.

 

Lauren Willis

Director of Communications

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) [mailto:wgselby@statesman.com]

Sent: Friday, August 24, 2012 5:04 PM

To: Lauren Willis; RJ DeSilva

Subject: RE: Rainy Day Fund Query

 

Would it be reasonable to conclude a similar rate of return in the 12 months through March 2012?

 

Thanks.

 

Mon 8/27/2012 10:08 AM

________________________________________

It may or may not be similar; the interest income the treasury pool earns changes daily and we do our annual yield calculations for the calendar year (January to December).

 

 

 

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R.J. DeSilva

Spokesperson, Texas Comptroller