Summer Newsletter: Update from State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski

Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski

Dear Wisconsinites - 

Summer is here, and our work continues in the Office of the State Treasurer to ensure that we’re delivering meaningful and equitable economic recovery to Wisconsin’s working families. As you’re getting ready to celebrate the 4th of July holiday, we wanted to share the results we’re delivering to improve homeownership and prevent foreclosure, invest in communities, promote emergency savings, and advocate for responsible investment strategies that protect our environment

As your State Treasurer, it is my job to foster a more economically secure future for Wisconsinites and our state. Together, we will come back from this pandemic stronger than ever. I'm honored to serve as your State Treasurer, and please know you can reach me anytime at


Treasurer Godlewski signature

2021 Summer Update

Improving Homeownership & Preventing Foreclosure

Treasurer Godlewski with Take Root Wisconsin Sign

June marks National Homeownership Month, and after a year of development our Treasurers’ Homeownership Task Force published our Homeownership Report and announced the launch of a brand new statewide network to help Wisconsinites buy, fix, and stay in their homes — Take Root Wisconsin. 

“We recognized how hard it is to navigate trusted homeownership resources, but also understand them because they’re often written in what I like to call legalese,” Godlewski said. “We stepped up and provided a one-stop-shop of easy-to-understand information that empowers Wisconsinites with the knowledge and tools to protect them.” - Treasurer Godlewski in the Wisconsin State Journal

Convened in March 2020, the Treasurers’ Homeowners Task Force came together to address the many challenges facing Wisconsin homeowners and did so without any additional resources from the state or federal government. Working from the blueprint provided by the Task Force's extensive Homeownership Report, the Task Force recommended specific proposals to help make the dream of homeownership more accessible to thousands more Wisconsin families. These include: 

  • The creation of a new statewide network to promote homeownership. Named Take Root Wisconsin, this new network will bring together a unique coalition of state officials, local treasurers, nonprofit leaders, realtors, housing experts, and legal advocates to build a foundation for sustainable homeownership in Wisconsin.
  • The statewide expansion of a successful COVID-19 Foreclosure Prevention Pilot program in La Crosse. This effort provided cash assistance, financial counseling, and wrap-around support to COVID-impacted households who were newly delinquent on their property taxes and at long-term risk of losing their home.
  • The development of a property tax web portal and education materials that provide easy-to-understand information on property taxes and interactive tools — such as web pages, sample documents, and teaching materials — for local treasurers, homeowners, teachers, students, and community members.

Investing in Wisconsin Communities

Recent Community Investments

As Chair of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, I have prioritized investments in our Wisconsin communities. Recently, we financed two exciting projects: $400,000 to expand broadband in rural Eau Claire County and $5.5 million to spur economic development in Racine. 

The broadband project is taking place in the Town of Drammen, which after conducting a survey, discovered sufficient broadband speeds were unavailable — with some noting they needed to drive to nearby Eau Claire and Menomonie just to get access. With the help of this financing, 278 underserved locations across the community will gain access to faster internet speeds, helping people grow their small businesses, access learning resources, and more. 

The City of Racine will use its financing to redevelop the downtown area. The result of this creative public-private partnership will be the renovation of the historic Zahn’s department store site into a new 80-room boutique hotel, offering green technology and bringing tourism to Racine.

Funding for these projects is offered through the State Trust Fund Program to provide affordable financing  to municipalities, counties, and school districts for public purpose needs relating to infrastructure and economic development. Earnings from these investments are annually distributed to public schools across Wisconsin to fund books and technology.

Promoting Automatic Savings

Wisconsin Saves Automatic Savings Initiative Logo

Nearly half of Wisconsinites lack a rainy day fund to cover a financial emergency. We know that we need to do more to ensure economic security for Wisconsinites, and by working with employers, we can have a positive impact on people’s financial lives. 

It is with this objective in mind that I joined the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), the Wisconsin Bankers Association, the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation, and America Saves in leading the Wisconsin Saves Automatic Savings Initiative. 

This effort is part of a national pilot project designed to encourage millions of Wisconsinites to establish emergency savings accounts through the automated saving strategy of split deposit. The pilot is focused on encouraging small and medium-sized employers to encourage their employees, particularly those in the lower-to-middle income wages, to save automatically, especially for emergencies.

We’re calling on employers to sign up at to receive free tools to help their employees save. To date, more than 60 employers in the state have made the commitment to educate their employees about split deposit and encourage them to use the strategy. 

For questions regarding Wisconsin Saves, please email Carolyn Pemberton at

Advocating for Smart Investments that Protect Our Environment

As State Treasurer of Wisconsin, I am charged with protecting the assets of our residents, ensuring strong returns for our beneficiaries, and safeguarding our economic interests. Climate change poses a systemic economic risk that Wisconsin is already experiencing — from increased flooding ravaging small farms and communities across the state to water quality threats to our lakes.

In advance of the annual shareholder meeting, I released a statement calling on ExxonMobil to align its business plans to seriously address climate change, knowing its risk to long-term shareholder value. I urged the world’s largest asset managers, BlackRock and Vanguard, which hold significant investments that I oversee as chair of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, to hold corporate boards accountable and stop at nothing less than a guaranteed commitment to address systemic climate risk. I'm pleased that they followed through, and ultimately, three of the four proposed director nominees who aligned with this climate commitment were elected to Exxon’s board, putting them in a stronger position to face the systemic risk of climate change. 

As State Treasurer, and the chair of over $1.2 billion in state trust funds, I will continue to ensure our investments are sound for the long term and that means factoring in the risk of climate change.

Unclaimed Property: Do You Have Money Waiting?

Do you have money waiting for you? You might!

The State Treasurer's Office works to promote the return of unclaimed money and property, from forgotten rebates, savings accounts, and estates. To search for Unclaimed Property under your name or your relatives, click here, and you can check if you have any unclaimed property here or by calling (608) 264-4594.

Keep In Touch

If you would like to stay connected with our office, please don't hesitate to:

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