Bill Could Make State Treasurer's Office a Thing of the Past

Jan 22, 2014

Senate Minority Floor Leader R.J. Palmer, a Democrat from Winchester, cast the lone "no" vote on legislation that would eliminate the treasurer's office
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Legislation seeking to eliminate the office of treasurer is making its way through the Kentucky Senate.  The Senate State and Local Government Committee easily approved the measure Wednesday.  Bill Sponsor Chris McDaniel says voter approval of the constitutional amendment would save taxpayers about two and a half million dollars each year.

“The treasurer and the political appointees their terms of employment would expire at the end of the treasurer’s term just like they would anyway.  The merit employees, it my anticipation that a little bit greater than half will have to be retained in the finance administration cabinet or the auditor’s office in order to be able to continue to the duties that aren’t actually duplicated,” said McDaniel.

State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach did not attend the senate committee meeting.  Senate Minority Floor Leader R.J. Palmer cast the lone no vote.  He wonders if the finance cabinet would be in position to take on all the duties of the treasurer’s office.

“I think that there are some functions that probably could be absorbed very easily by the finance cabinet, but the question is can they all be absorbed very easily by the cabinet and any time we’re gonna change our constitution, I think we ought to have a thorough discussion,” said Palmer.

Louisville Senator and fellow committee member Morgan McGarvey asked if other constitutional offices in state government could be eliminated.  McDaniel believes many of the treasurer’s responsibilities can be incorporated into the finance cabinet.  He doesn’t believe elimination is the best option for other offices like Agriculture Commissioner, Attorney General, or Secretary of State.