Thank You, Wisconsin!

Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski

Dear Wisconsinites,

I wanted to take a moment to say thank you. As my term as State Treasurer comes to an end, I will forever be grateful to the people of Wisconsin who placed their trust in me to lead this office. Together, we made a difference, and this opportunity has been the honor of a lifetime.  

When I was first elected, I set forth a clear vision for the State Treasurer’s Office built on three key goals:

  1. Improve economic security
  2. Create win-win investments
  3. Provide taxpayer transparency

I am proud to share the major accomplishments achieved over the past four years, and this newsletter serves as a recap of my term as your State Treasurer.

While I will no longer be in this position, know that I am still in the fight to make Wisconsin a great place to live, work, raise a family, and retire.


Treasurer Godlewski signature

Economic Security



Homeownership is essential to our economic stability. Yet the declining rate of homeowners in our state demands action as too many Wisconsinites are unable to own a home and build wealth. The Treasurer’s Homeownership Task Force wanted to provide more than ideas and recommendations, the group wanted to develop and execute common sense solutions. The Homeownership Report captures the programs, tools, and resources implemented by the Task Force to make the dream of homeownership more accessible to all Wisconsinites. Highlights of our work include: 

  • Take Root Wisconsin: A consortium of community organizations, housing counseling agencies, realtors, lenders, and local treasurers to help Wisconsinites buy, fix, and stay in their homes.
  • Tax Foreclosure Prevention Pilot: A program to help newly delinquent homeowners in La Crosse County, by providing financial counseling, access to social services, and cash assistance. The purpose of the program was to provide early intervention to help avoid property tax foreclosure. Over 80% of participating households are now current on their payments and no longer require assistance!
  • Property Tax Web Portal and Education Materials: Easy-to-understand information on property taxes and interactive tools to help homeowners learn more about their property taxes.

We continued our mission by helping homeowners who were financially impacted by the pandemic through the development of the Wisconsin Help for Homeowners Program (WHH). This is an important partnership with Governor Evers’s Office, the Department of Administration, and the Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (WISCAP). The program provides financial assistance to Wisconsin homeowners who have experienced economic hardship since January 21, 2021 and are behind with housing-related bills such as mortgage arrears, delinquent property taxes, and utility bills. The program has supported over 3,700 households and is still providing assistance! To learn more or apply, please visit



After a lifetime of hard work, every Wisconsinite deserves to retire with financial security and peace of mind. Yet, a majority – 88% of Wisconsinites – said they wished they had saved more for retirement. Many retirees worry about outliving their modest savings and slipping into poverty. A University of Wisconsin study found that if no action is taken, over 400,000 seniors in Wisconsin will be living in poverty by 2030 and the state will have to spend an additional $3.5 billion on public assistance programs.

We cannot allow this to happen. I was proud to Chair the bipartisan Retirement Security Task Force that proposed five innovative and cost-effective solutions, including recommendations that will:

  • Improve Access: Expand access to retirement savings through a simple auto-IRA program that Wisconsin businesses of all sizes can offer to their employees free of charge.
  • Address Future Generations & Financial Equity: Provide every child born in Wisconsin with a 401(K)ids investment account to build long-term wealth and retirement security.
  • Close the Savings Gap: Create an automated emergency savings program so Wisconsinites don’t need to tap their retirement savings when a financial emergency happens.
  • Increase Participation: Develop government incentives for workplace retirement plans that encourage employers to auto-enroll workers.
  • Foster Financial Empowerment: Develop an Interactive E-Commerce Portal to serve as a centralized, trusted source of information for retirement savings and other financial needs.

To learn more about these proposals, you can find the entire report here.

One of these proposals, our bipartisan 401(K)ids bill, was introduced by the legislature in early 2022 and received a public hearing before the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means. This bill would provide an investment account for every child in Wisconsin so they can begin saving at birth. The funds from this account could be used for retirement, first-time home buying, education, and medical emergencies. While 401(K)ids continues to work its way through the legislative process, you can learn more about the bill here, read my testimony before the committee here, and watch my video explanation with Representative Evan Goyke here.

Finally, our partnership with WisconsinSaves helped small businesses provide savings options for employees to help achieve their savings goals. Whether that’s buying a car, paying for college, purchasing a home, or planning for retirement, the tools and tips provided by WisconsinSaves help assist families and individuals as they build savings habits and become regular savers. Learn more about WisconsinSaves here.

Win-Win Investing


bcpl chair

As the Chair of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL), I oversee its $1.3 billion in state​​​​ trust funds. When I became the Chair, I also joined the Investment Committee -- the first time a Commissioner had done so. Written in our State’s constitution, the financial returns of the BCPL go to benefit our public schools and our students. I am incredibly proud of the work our team has done that has led to the highest distributions in the Agency’s history! I want to thank BCPL Staff Tom German, Richard Sneider, and Denise Nechvatal for their hard work and dedication. 

bcpl 2

The BCPL has not only updated our investment strategy, but we have also worked diligently to effectively implement this strategy. Since becoming Chair, we have diversified approximately $780 million in funds, addressed risks including removing a gag order on considering the risk of climate change when making investments and invested in Wisconsin start-ups. These changes have resulted in a new level of fund resilience that will ensure strong returns will continue to benefit our schools, our communities, and Wisconsin’s economy.

bcpl 3

The Common School Fund provides resources for books and technology for public school libraries and is often these libraries’ sole source of funding. Since I became Chair, we have continuously provided record-breaking distributions totaling $159 million. Further, during the height of the pandemic, we provided a special distribution of $5.25 million to help address remote learning needs. I’ve enjoyed traveling the state and talking with teachers, librarians, and administrators about the importance of these funds. We know when our schools do well, our kids do well, and the Common School Fund will continue to provide resources our schools need to thrive.

The Normal School Fund provides an annual financial distribution to the UW-System. This money goes towards merit scholarships for UW students, scholarships for underrepresented students at UW-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, programming in UW-Stevens Point’s forestry department, and UW-Extension’s sustainable business program. A record-breaking distribution this year of over $1 million was provided to the UW System to fund these critical programs, helping Wisconsinites attend college and creating the next generation of environmental leaders. Part of the positive fund growth was due to innovative thinking on how to sustainably increase revenue on our public lands. While this work continues, future distributions will continue to grow, provide more resources to help students and teachers, and uphold our commitment to conservation. 


Another key feature of the BCPL is the State Trust Fund Loan Program. Through this program, the BCPL helps cities, counties, and towns across Wisconsin finance critical projects ranging from small business loan programs to purchasing new fire trucks. During my term, we have approved over 600 projects across the state for a total of over $300 million. This includes $38,254,224 total for roadwork and street improvements, $210,000 to fund lead water line replacement in Mosinee, $400,000 for broadband infrastructure improvement in Drammen, and more. To see projects across the state and in your community, visit our website here.

Taxpayer Transparency


taxpayer report

Taxpayer transparency has always been an important priority of the Office of the State Treasurer, and it starts with where our tax dollars are allocated and spent. When I first took office, it was clear that there was not an accessible, easy-to-understand report for citizens to learn more about how their tax dollars are used. Budget documents are available to the public, but they are hundreds of pages long and full of government jargon and confusing calculations. That’s why my office worked to create a practical, digestible look at how taxpayer dollars are spent. We have now produced two Taxpayer Reports covering the two most recent state budgets because I believe it is important that everyone can learn how their tax dollars are used. The Taxpayer Report for the 2021-2023 state budget can be found here and our 2019-2021 report can be found here.

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.

Stay Connected

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