COLUMBUS—State Senator Steve Wilson (R-Maineville) today announced the unanimous passage of legislation in the Ohio Senate that would give greater authority and flexibility to county treasurers to invest. Sponsored by Senator Wilson, Senate Bill 163 would increase opportunities for higher yields, diversification of investments and better equip the elected county treasurers to protect taxpayer money.

"Eliminating burdensome restrictions would help counties strengthen their portfolios and allow them to adjust their investment choices, which has the potential to increase yields and reduce the need for raising taxes," said Senator Wilson. 

Treasurers who take advantage of this increased flexibility will have the potential to generate additional revenue using a new category of investments.

"Warren County is grateful to our own Senator Steve Wilson for championing this legislation," said Barney Wright, Warren County Treasurer. "This bill recognizes that there are safe investments that county treasurers can make to increase investment income for the benefit all Ohioans."

Under current law, county treasurers are only permitted to invest in corporate bonds with the two highest credit ratings: AAA or AA ratings. Issuance of corporate paper within these categories is limited, and consequently county investment portfolios have been forced into concentrated positions and their effectiveness of having corporate debt securities available has been limited.

"This new investment option will give treasurers a chance to increase our portfolio income and improve diversification without significantly changing its risk profile. Though the changes are slight, they will have a positive impact on investment income and help us make a difference in our community where every dollar counts," said Carolyn Rice, Montgomery County Treasurer. 

Senate Bill 163 seeks to alleviate restrictions by providing county treasurers with the option to invest in bonds that are rated in the top three credit categories, adding A rated corporate bonds as an investment option for counties. This legislation would also expand the allowable maturity of securities from two to three years. 

"Simply put, this legislation would provide county treasurers greater flexibility and authority to make investment decisions that best fit their portfolio," added Wilson. 

Senate Bill 163 will now go to the House of Representatives where it will be referred to a committee for further consideration. 
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