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Voters Reject Plan to Eliminate Office of WI State Treasurer

Wisconsin Office of State Treasurer

Wisconsin voters on Tuesday voted "no" to a question about whether the state constitution should be amended, in order to eliminate the post of state treasurer. The vote was a binding referendum.

Groups that wanted to do away with the position argued that most of the duties of state treasurer had been absorbed by other agencies and offices over the years. The current treasurer, Matt Adamczyk, was one of the people pushing for the post to be disbanded. He said the office has outlived its purpose.

State lawmakers approved the plan to disband the office in two successive legislative sessions, which is the procedure for changing the state constitution. The binding referendum vote was the final step in the process.

Vocal critics of the measure fought to keep the office of treasurer in place. They argued that the treasurer fills an important role, including by serving on the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands. If voters had eliminated the office, that duty would have fallen to the lieutenant governor. The board manages more than $1 billion in trust fund assets and more than 77,000 acres of school trust lands. People wanting to preserve the office said if the lieutenant governor were to serve on the board, that would bring politics into how the lands and assets are handled.

Ann-Elise is WUWM's news director.
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