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McDaniel's Bill to Eliminate Treasurer's Office Clears Senate, Treasurer Not Happy

The Kentucky State Senate approved a measure, 23-15, today that would abolish the state office of Treasurer.

 

A bill sponsored by State Senator Chris McDaniel (R-Taylor Mill) that would eliminate the Kentucky Treasurer's Office passed the Senate Tuesday.

Senate Bill 58 would amend the state constitution to dissolve the State Treasurer’s office at the end of the current term. It passed 23-15.

McDaniel told lawmakers the office has become obsolete. “Today, the office performs very few functions that are not also performed by the Governor’s Finance Administration Cabinet,” he said, as reported by the Legislative Research Commission.

McDaniel said the duties would be transferred to the Finance Cabinet and state Auditor’s Office.

Those opposing the bill included Senate Democratic Floor Leader Sen. R.J. Palmer, D-Winchester, who said the Treasurer’s Office provides a needed check and balance for the state’s finances.

Current Treasurer Todd Hollenbach blasted the bill in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.

“The action today by the proponents of this legislation is a cynical expression of willful ignorance wrapped in a shroud of partisan hypocrisy,” Hollenbach said. "The sponsors of this legislation espouse alleged benefits to the abolishment of the treasury based on claims that were pulled out of thin air and other nether regions of non-existence." 

“Abolishing the Office of Treasurer will not save any money as all of treasury’s jobs will still have to be performed and all of the equipment maintained," Hollenbach continued. "Transferring the functions of the treasury into an existing government bureaucracy will only further bloat the bureaucracy and diminish the efficiency, accountability and productivity that the Treasury now produces.  Most importantly, the supporters of SB 58 want to take away the constitutional right of the people to vote for the individual who oversees the handling of their tax dollars and remove a vital part of Kentucky’s constitutional system of checks and balances, to stop unauthorized spending by the executive branch.”

“As a term limited Treasurer, I have no vested interest in this proposal but I can say with conviction that the actual facts support the point that abolishing Treasury is simply bad policy for the people of our Commonwealth.”

If the measure becomes law, the question will be posed to voters for final ratification in the 2014 general election in November.

SB 58 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Other notes from Frankfort:

Anti-bullying measure advances

A bill that would recognize October as Anti-Bullying Month in the state was approved in the Kentucky Senate today.

Senate Bill 20, sponsored by Sen. Jared Carpenter, R-Berea, would also make the purple and yellow ribbon a symbol of anti-bullying awareness.

“As a father of two young children and an uncle of middle school and high school students, I can see how [bullying] affects their lives,” Carpenter said. 

The measure was a result of two years of work by Madison Middle School Students.

Coal county scholarship and grant bill heads to House

Legislation that would help college students from Kentucky’s coal counties complete four-year degrees in their home areas with help from a “Kentucky Coal County College Completion Scholarship” has cleared the House Education Committee.

House Bill 2, sponsored by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, and Rep. Leslie Combs, D-Pikeville, would fund scholarships mostly for students living and attending school in the state’s coal-producing counties in both Eastern and Western Kentucky. The bill would provide five percent of total scholarship funds for students who want to attend an approved program outside of those coal counties, according to the bill.

Scholarships available to eligible students under HB 2 for the 2014-15 academic year would total a maximum of $6,800 per academic year for students attending an independent college or university in the coal counties, $2,300 per year for students of a public extension campus or regional postsecondary center in those counties, or $3,400 per year for those students eligible to attend a program located in Kentucky but outside the coal counties. 

The legislation would also create student services grants for Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges located in the coal regions. Grant amounts would total $150,000 per institution per year, according to HB 2.

To read more, click here.

Notes from Legislative Research Commission and Treasurer's communication department