WHEELERweek – 06/03/17 Constitutional Officers

As published by The Wheeler Report – January 29, 1991 …

The Wheeler Report noted that SJR-11, relating to abolishing the offices of state treasurer and secretary of state (1st Consideration) had been introduced.  The 1991 SJR-11 marked the 17th session a Constitutional amendment to repeal or abolish either the offices of the Secretary of State or State Treasurer had been introduced.  The first resolution to abolish constitutional offices was introduced in 1911, according to Legislative Reference Bureau.

To change the constitution and delete the office(s) the Legislature must pass identical resolutions in two successive sessions, then voters statewide must approve the change.

Legislative Reference Bureau Report 16-5

And Today …

106 years later, a resolution to delete the office of State Treasurer (SJR-3) has passed both houses of the Legislature for the 2nd consecutive session. The Senate adopted SJR-3 March 7, on a 18-15 vote. The Assembly followed on March 9 with a vote of 68-31.

The Assembly author, Rep. Schraa said, “The current State Treasurer and the previous one both ran on the platform of eliminating the state treasurer. The main duties of the treasurer are now handled by state agencies, so it’s time to move into the 21st century. We’ll see what the citizens have to say in the referendum next April.”

The Senate author, Sen. Feyen, said, “Eliminating the State Treasurer is a common-sense reform to shrink the government and grow efficiencies. This measure demonstrates that we are being good stewards of taxpayer dollars and living up to our constituents’ expectations that the government is not wasting their hard-earned money and is actively looking for opportunities to reform. Coming from the perspective of the private sector, you don’t spend money on anything that doesn’t add value to your business. The State Treasurer is no longer adding value to the state of Wisconsin and it is time for the position to be eliminated. Senator Gudex lead the charge last session and I wanted to honor his legacy by finishing what he and Rep. Schraa started, now it’s up to the voters of Wisconsin to decide.”

The resolution will be on the ballot in April 2018.