The Kentucky Senate has passed a proposed ballot measure seeking to abolish the state treasurer's office. The proposal would amend the Kentucky constitution to allow the treasurer's duties to shift to the state finance cabinet.
The measure cleared the senate on a 23-15 vote Tuesday. It now goes to the state House.
Republicans backing the measure say it could save the state $1.4 million each year. State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach disputed that, saying his abolishing his office wouldn't save any money. Democrats opposing the bill said the treasurer's office provides needed oversight of state finances.
Minority floor leader R. J. Palmer said the treasurer's office generates more revenue than other state constitutional offices. Republicans said the state auditor would provide needed oversight of executive spending.
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.
The Kentucky Lottery Corporation is moving ahead with a new Keno game and online lottery sales, in hopes the games will be profitable.
The lottery board hopes to generate $85 million dollars a year with the new games by 2023.
State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach spearheaded the effort to expand to Keno and online sales as a way to help generate more revenue for the state. He says the implementation will take time, but money should start coming in shortly afterward.
"So you're probably not going to see anything of any significance until 2014. It takes a little while."
State House Democrats have said additional lottery revenues could pay for the state's underfunded pension system. Finding a way to fund pension reforms has been a major cause of disagreement in Frankfort this year.
More than one thousand Kentuckians are receiving checks this week from the Unclaimed Property Division of the Kentucky Treasury. State officials say the checks range in value from four cents to $43,000.