Monday, March 5, 2018

April 3 Constitutional Referendum to Eliminate the State Treasurer

A statewide referendum on whether or not Wisconsin should amend its Constitution to eliminate the Office of the State Treasurer will be on your ballot April 3. If passed, Wisconsin would be the only state in the nation without a financial officer. 

Currently, the state treasurer sits on the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) and oversees the Common School Fund. The office is independently elected by Wisconsin voters.

If the treasurer is eliminated, the lieutenant governor will become a member of the BCPL. We believe that replacing the State Treasurer with the Lieutenant Governor on the BCPL jeopardizes our founding fathers’ commitment to maintaining a constitutionally protected form of school library funding.

As envisioned by our founding fathers, current BCPL Commissioners do not play a leading role in K-12 school funding or the state budget process—this makes them ideal custodians of the Common School Fund and helps protect the integrity of the fund.  

WEMTA opposes this referendum and is asking people to VOTE NO because:

  • If passed, Wisconsin would be the only state in the nation without a financial officer.
  • Eliminating this constitutional office jeopardizes checks and balances within state government by transferring more power to the executive branch. 
  • We need more oversight of taxpayer dollars--not less! 
  • Wisconsin needs a dedicated and independently elected state treasurer to fight waste, fraud and abuse in state government. 
  • Public funds have been put at risk as a result of transferring the treasurer’s duties to state agencies.
    •  In 2016, the Legislative Audit Bureau found that the Department of Administration did not keep adequate cash records for the Employee Trust Fund. 
    • The 2016 Annual Financial Report did not contain accurate numbers. 
    • The Unclaimed Property Program is less effective—resulting in lost revenue for the Common School Fund. 
Vote NO on April 3. 

To see a sample ballot:

Find your polling place:

Feel free to share WEMTA's fact sheet. 

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