Vote against eliminating state treasurer

To the editor:

Wisconsin voters will be answering a question when we vote on April 3. Two changes in our Wisconsin Constitution are incorporated into the one question. Do we want to eliminate the office of state treasurer? Do we want to replace the state treasurer (an elected position) with the lieutenant governor on the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL)?

Among other duties, the treasurer has one constitutional duty. It requires the treasurer to serve as a member of the BCPL, which oversees investment income for public school libraries, making loans to municipalities and school districts, managing state trust lands for timber management and archiving land records.

The office of state treasurer is vital as a check on executive power and an independent fiscal watchdog. Replacing the treasurer with the lieutenant governor on the BCPL creates a disconcerting consolidation of power that has the potential to compromise transparent and fair government.

If this question is approved, Wisconsin would be the only state to completely remove its separate financial office from its constitution.

Please vote no on the question on April 3.

Jean Belke,