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State treasurer uncovers duties that have not been addressed in years

Posted at 5:08 PM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-04 17:17:24-05

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin's state treasurer claims her predecessors neglected at least 16 duties required by law for years. Here's the list:

1. Serve on the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, as provided by Article X, Section 8 of the Wisconsin Constitution. Under Article VI, Section 3, all other powers and duties of the state treasurer are statutory.

2. Sign checks, share drafts, and other drafts on depositories in which moneys may be deposited by the state treasurer. (s. 14.58 (1))

3. Promote the unclaimed property program, now administered by DOR. (s. 14.58 (4))

4. Permit at all times inspection and examination of the books, papers and transactions of the treasurer's office. (s. 14.58 (7))

5. Make certified copies of deeds and other papers filed in the treasurer's office. (s. 14.58 (11)) 2358, 2361, 2449−2453, 2471, 2482, 2483, 2486, 2575, 2579, 2580−2592, 2605−2608, 2616, 2629, 2632, 2635−2640, 2643−2650, 2665−2671, 2683−2685, 2691, 2693−2707, 2711, 2713−2715, 2728, 2730, 2731, 2744, 2745, 2759−2767, 2800−2804, 9154 (1) 4 Sec. 755, 896, 898-903, 9149 (2) 5 Sec. 74, 75-77, 207, 208, 758-766, 868, 904-907, 1756-1760, 3491, 3492, 9149 (1), 9341 (5f) 6 These programs were transferred from DOA to DFI by the 2017 budget, 2017 Wisconsin Act 59. 7 See 1999 Wisconsin Act 9 and 1999 Wisconsin Act 44 8 Sec. 9149 (3) 9 Sec. 28m, 375m, 463f-r, 490m, 1971m, r, 1972m, 1976m, 1982d-t, 1990g-s, 2267b, d, 2270e, r, 2271m, 2295d-t, 9146 (1c) 10 Sec. 96, 97-100, 923, 928, 3670 3

6. May conduct conferences to train county and municipal clerks and treasurers and employees. (s.14.59)

7. Authorized to require searches in the offices of the secretary of state, the attorney general, and the offices of the clerk of the supreme court, the court of appeals, and the circuit courts for any papers, records or documents necessary to discharge of the duties of the office. The secretary of state and the attorney general have similar authority. (s. 19.25)

8. Act as treasurer of the investment board. (s. 25.19 (1))

9. Assist in administering the county mining investment fund. (s. 25.65)

10. Receive payments for the commercial fish protection surcharge, the Great Lakes resource surcharge, and the fishing net removal surcharge. (ss. 29.984 (1) (f), 29.9905 (1) (d), 29.991 (1) (c))

11. Act as treasurer of the public employee trust fund. (s. 40.03 (4))

12. Direct and approve DOR the amounts and sureties of bonds filed by DOR with the secretary of administration in connection with DOR’s receipt of the payment of income and franchise taxes. (s. 71.80 (1) (e))

13. Receive payments from the division of banking in DFI in connection with liquidation proceedings of banks. (s. 221.0802)

14. Act as governor during a state of emergency resulting from enemy action if the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and attorney general are unavailable. (s. 323.53 (1))

15. Act as a member of the board of directors of the insurance security fund. (s. 646.12 (1) (a) 1.)

16. Acknowledge the satisfaction and discharge of certain mortgages involving the state. (s. 708.07)

We spoke with her one-on-one for an update on what she's uncovered, and still working on.

Sarah Godlewski says callers are worried about affording retirement. She warns if this issue is left unaddressed, it will cost taxpayers billions.

A new role was added to her plate four months ago: Chair of the Retirement Security Task Force. She says it's just getting off the ground after the governor signed an executive order.

"We just realized we're not doing anything about this, so let's bring everyone to the table with this conversation," said Godlewski.

Godlewski is more than a year into her term, which runs up in about three years.