Mike Browne, Deputy Director
Independently Elected Fiscal Watchdog Could be Lost
MADISON, Wis. — A proposal before voters on April 3 would, if approved, eliminate the state’s fiscal watchdog, the Office of the State Treasurer. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said recent analyses showing Gov. Scott Walker’s and the legislative Republicans’ election year spending spree leaving the state budget balance at almost zero shows the office is needed more than ever.
“Having an independently elected fiscal watchdog is a critical check on Gov. Walker and the Republicans in control of the legislature whose election year spending spree is projected to take the state budget balance down to almost zero,” commented Ross. “If Republicans get their way and are able to completely eliminate the Office of State Treasurer, that would go away.
The Office of the State Treasurer was created by the Wisconsin State Constitution. The treasurer is independently elected statewide at the same time as gubernatorial elections are held.
In recent years, Gov. Walker and Republicans in control of the state legislature have sought to weaken the office and transfer its functions to state agencies overseen by political appointees. But they have upped the ante this year, putting a measure on the April 3 election ballot that would, if approved by voters, entirely eliminate the Treasurer’s office by amending the Wisconsin Constitution.