Over the past several years our current state administration has quietly been stripping away the duties of the State Treasurer. Now, following a familiar playbook, they are saying that the position of Treasurer no longer has enough official duties to warrant its existence, and, therefore, should be eliminated. The end result would be to further concentrate power and give top members of the Walker administration even more control. To that end, they have put a Referendum Question on the April 3rd ballot.
Wisconsin Constitutional Amendment - Elimination of state treasurer
What it will say on the ballot
At the April 3 Spring Election, all Wisconsin voters will be asked to vote on the question:
Elimination of state treasurer. Shall sections 1 and 3 of article VI and sections 7 and 8 of article X of the constitution be amended, and section 17 of article XIV of the constitution be created, to eliminate the office of state treasurer from the constitution and to replace the state treasurer with lieutenant governor as a member of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands?
What the state treasurer does
The state treasurer is a partisan office. The current duties prescribed by WI law include signing certain checks and financial instruments and helping publicize the state’s unclaimed property program (the program is managed and advertised by the Department of Revenue). Per the constitution, the treasurer serves along with the attorney general and secretary of state on the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands.
The Board manages the state’s remaining trust lands (more than 77,000 acres of forest), manages trust funds (more than $1 billion) primarily for the benefit of public education, and maintains the state’s archive of 19th-century land survey and land sales records.
What this referendum vote would do
This amendment would complete the transfer of financial duties from an independent elected official to agencies under the control of the governor. Supporters of the amendment contend that there are no remaining responsibilities that justify a separate office. Opponents are concerned about the consolidation of power in the executive branch.
Two successive legislatures voted to put this question to voters (as required by the Wisconsin Constitution). The decision made by voters on April 3rd is binding.
What a Yes or No vote means
A “Yes” vote means the voter agrees that the constitutional position of state treasurer should be abolished.
A “No” vote means the voter wants to retain the constitutional position of state treasurer.
Show the administration we know what they are up to: vote NO.