Following a visit by Governor Asa Hutchinson last Tuesday, this Monday another state officer, Treasurer Dennis Milligan, will be in Hope, delivering a speech at a luncheon hosted by the Hope Lions Club.

Following a visit by Governor Asa Hutchinson last Tuesday, this Monday another state officer, Treasurer Dennis Milligan, will be in Hope, delivering a speech at a luncheon hosted by the Hope Lions Club.
Lions Club President Sharon Wright confirmed the speech Friday afternoon, saying Milligan will likely speak to growth in the Arkansas 529 GIFT program. Wright also said the luncheon will be held at its usual time and site at Amigo Juan’s banquet room.
Milligan’s press secretary Stacy Peterson said, “As Treasurer, Milligan serves as the state’s banker and is responsible for an investment portfolio of approximately $3.5 billion.”
Peterson also said that during Milligan’s initial fiscal year in office, he doubled the receipted earnings on state investments from an average of $20 million to $48.9 million.
Monday’s keynote speech will center around Arkansas 529, the state’s college investment program for Arkansans saving for their kids’ higher education. Peterson said the program applies equally to traditional four-year universities as well as two-year schools like the University of Arkansas at Hope.
Milligan is expected to announce a reduction in plan fees since the program itself has grown over 23-percent since he took office. All GIFT Plan portfolio fees will decrease by four basis points in the present month of June.
Peterson estimated the overall growth at $130 million in total assets during Milligan’s tenure in office.
“We have more state residents than ever saving for their kid’s continuing education,” she said.
In connection with the Arkansas 529 program, Milligan also implemented financial education component to increase awareness and financial literacy among college-aged or soon-to-be college students. The AR Finance AR Future program, which is free to schools, impacted over 9,500 students in 86 schools during its first year, according to Peterson.
Milligan had previously served as the Saline County Circuit Clerk from 2011-2015, and he was also known as a real estate developer and home builder prior to holding public office.