The office of State Treasurer would be eliminated under a bill that passed the state Senate Tuesday.
Senate Bill 58 is sponsored by Sen. Chris McDaniel and, according to supporters, would save the state close to $1.5 million a year. But not all senators are on board. Before the 23-15 vote, Sen. Julian Carroll blasted the chamber for, in his view, upsetting the balance of power in the state constitution.
"They're doing away with one of the major checks and balances in state government that protects the General Assembly's appropriations," Sen. Julian Carroll told the chamber.
Supporters argue that the finance cabinet in the executive branch could handle most of the duties performed by the treasurer’s office. Senate president Robert Stivers says the bill is not about partisanship but saving taxpayer’s money.
"We're in times [when] we're talking about tax revenues, we're talking about revenues from gaming. Why don't we look at some common sense approaches where we can instill checks and balances but still save a million and a half dollars a year?" he says.
Now the bill heads to the House, where the effort has received some support from Speaker Greg Stumbo. The speaker has gone on record saying the treasurer’s job mostly consists of “signing paychecks,” much of which is handled electronically now.
If passed by both chambers, the bill would go before voters this November.