California's New Treasurer Eyes Redo for $10 Billion Bond Issuer

Fiona Ma officially assumes her post of California’s treasurer in January, but she has already made it clear that she won’t act as a rubber stamp for an office that sold more than $10 billion of bonds this year.

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After Ma, a Democrat elected in November, learned that the office was planning to sell veterans’ housing bonds next month, she demanded information on the program to be funded before allowing it to proceed, according to Ma and Tim Schaefer, deputy treasurer. The sale will now occur in February, Schaefer said.

"I believe in checks and balances, accountability and also being proactive," Ma said in an interview at Bloomberg’s San Francisco office. She has already reorganized the lines of command under her to improve coordination.

Ma, a certified public accountant, has racked up an array of government experiences: most recently, she was on the state’s tax-oversight agency known as the board of equalization. She has also served in the state Assembly and on the board of supervisors in San Francisco, her hometown. “I have a unique understanding of how government works,” she said.

Here are a few areas that Ma is tackling:

Rating Analyst Outreach

No More Bankruptcies

Marijuana Banks

Housing Crisis Relief