Senate Votes to Eliminate State Treasurer

On January 21, the Senate voted on a party-line vote to eliminate the Office of the State Treasurer from the state constitution.

In an executive session in September, the Senate Committee on Labor and Government Reform passed Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 5, which would eliminate the state treasurer position from the Wisconsin Constitution. The resolution passed on party-line, 3-2 vote.

At a public hearing, State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk endorsed the resolution that would eliminate his office from state government. Adamczyk testified that he believes the position is a waste of taxpayer dollars, and that the former duties of the treasurer are now handled more efficiently by other state agencies.

The State Treasurer’s Office in recent years has had many of its functions transferred to other state agencies. Currently, the only remaining duty the treasurer has is to serve on the three member Board of Public Lands, along with the Secretary of State and Attorney General. Under SJR 5, the Lieutenant Governor would fill the seat on the board.

Supporters in favor of the measure say the state can save up to $350,000.

Similar bills have been introduced in the previous six legislative sessions. However, Adamczyk has made the removal of his position easier by eliminating the office’s staff and trimming the office’s duties.

The Assembly has also passed its counterpart, Assembly Joint Resolution 5. The measure passed on a 63-33 party-line vote.

The proposed resolution first must pass both houses of the legislature in two consecutive legislative sessions. The final step in the amendment process will require voters approve the amendment via a statewide referendum.