Wisconsin referendum to decide state treasurer fate - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin referendum to decide state treasurer fate

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STEVENS POINT Wis. (WAOW) -

Wisconsin Voters will decide whether or not to keep the state treasurer position.

The government job has been filled for 170 years and 35 people have held that position during that time.

Supporters say the treasurer plays a vital role in our government, while others are adamant that removing the position will not have a negative impact on the state.

"I think it's important to know that there are multiple trust funds managed by the state treasurers and if our state treasurer goes away it would create an undual concentration of power," Representative Katrina Shankland said.

The treasurer is elected every four years. Their role includes being the state's chief banker and responsible for an unclaimed property program.

However, their duties have been slowly stripped.

"The last several years they removed the duties from the treasurers office," Ed Miller said, who is a political science professor at U-W Stevens Point.

Representative Shankland said there have been attempts to eliminate the position before.

"I voted against it, both times because the state treasurer is a critical check in balance that was written in the Wisconsin constitution," Shankland said.

However, Miller thinks taking the position away won't have much of an effect at all.

"Nothing will happen to Wisconsin, but the idea of a treasurer was to provide an elective check," Miller said. "The secretary of states office just like the treasurer has no function."

Representative Shankland thinks if the proposal passes then Wisconsin will be in jeopardy.

"The legislate is eliminating or trying to eliminate positions or trying to eliminate positions like the state treasurer but at the same time weakening other constitutional offices," Shankland said.

If the bill passes, Wisconsin will be the first in the country without a state treasurer.

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