WASHINGTON (1/31/14)--This year, two state policymakers--Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman and Rhode Island General Treasurer Gina Raimondo--were awarded the Desjardins Financial Education Award for State Government Policymakers.
The award, which is determined by the Credit Union National Association State Credit Union Subcommittee, recognizes the leadership for financial education at the state level. Previously restricted to legislators who promoted youth financial education, nominations for the award have been expanded to any state government policymakers who promote financial education to individuals of any age.
In his nomination letter, Minnesota Credit Union Network President/CEO Mark Cummins commended Rothman's efforts to bring together 10 state agencies that had existing programs, outreach or policy interests in financial literacy. The Minnesota Financial Literacy Interagency Work Group was the first of its kind in the state. The work group sponsors and organizes financial literacy outreach and education efforts. Its annual Financial Literacy Roundtable brings together a broad group of interested parties to pursue new opportunities for financial literacy program development and improvement.
"Commissioner Rothman has been a tireless advocate for financial literacy in Minnesota since he was appointed Commerce Commissioner in 2011," Cummins wrote.
In Rhode Island, Raimondo launched the Empower RI initiative, which includes the Financial Coaching Corps (FCC). Nearly 20 credit unions, non-profits and small businesses work with the General Treasurer's office and the Capital Good Fund in FCC. The state also offers EverFi, a web-based financial literacy program for high school students. Raimondo also started the Smart Money Tour this year that reached more than 300 people during stops at senior centers, farmers' markets and malls.
"The association is pleased that Treasurer Raimondo is being recognized for the outstanding work that she has done to support financial literacy efforts in Rhode Island," said Paul Gentile, president/CEO, Rhode Island Credit Union League (Daily CU Scan Jan. 28).
CUNA's State Credit Union Subcommittee accepts nominations for this recognition annually and usually recognizes only one awardee.