The wording of the question as it appears on ballots statewide
QUESTION 1: “Elimination of state treasurer. Shall sections 1 and 3 of article VI and sections 7 and 8 of article X of the constitution be amended, and section 17 of article XIV of the constitution be created, to eliminate the office of state treasurer from the constitution and to replace the state treasurer with the lieutenant governor as a member of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands?”
What a “yes” vote means
A “yes” vote means you want to change Wisconsin’s constitution to eliminate the office of state treasurer. A “yes” vote also means you want to have the lieutenant governor, rather than the state treasurer, be a member of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands. This position is currently part of the duties of the state treasurer. Other duties of the state treasurer will be divvyed up among other state officials.
What a “no” vote means
A “no” vote means you want to keep things as they are, which in this situation means you want to keep the office of state treasurer. Because you want to keep the office of state treasurer, that means the state treasurer will continue as a member of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands. (Putting the lieutenant governor on that Board would only be necessary if there is no state treasurer.)
How Wisconsin Family Action views this referendum
This is not a referendum with any kind of “moral” implications. Whether we eliminate the office of state treasurer isn’t “right” or “wrong.” It’s a personal preference. Those wanting to eliminate the office of state treasurer allege that the office is unnecessary and getting rid of it would save the state and its taxpayers some money and reduce the size of government, albeit not by much because not many people work in the office of state treasurer. They maintain the few responsibilities the state treasurer has can be easily absorbed by other government officials.
Others believe that more consolidation of power—in other words, giving fewer people more authority—isn’t in the best interest of our state. These folks maintain it is better for our system of checks and balances to spread power/authority out over more people. These folks will vote “no” on the question.
Each voter will need to decide where he/she lands on this question. Frankly, at WFA, we can live easily with either way the vote goes. Some of us at WFA will vote “yes” and some will vote “no,” based entirely on our personal preference, not as a moral judgment on the issue.