State Treasurer candidate explains why the position is so important to Wisconsinites
By Joe Bachman
STEVENS POINT — Democratic candidate for State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski stopped into our offices on Wednesday to share why you should care about the State Treasurer. We sat down with her to get her thoughts on this sometimes overlooked position.
After Wisconsin voted to keep the State Treasurer position in April, five candidates will vie for the position this November. Godlewski will face challengers Dawn Marie Sass and Cynthia Kaump for Tuesday’s primary election, with the winner taking on the winner from the Republican primary; either Travis Hartwig or Jill Millies.
Godlewski founded the Save Our Fiscal Watchdog committee, which according to Godlewski, the office of treasurer has been neglected by both parties for over a decade.
“We can’t just sit on the sidelines anymore.” said Godlewski, who pointed out three areas that needs attention through the treasurer’s office. This includes becoming the state’s fiscal watchdog, investing in Wisconsin’s future through trust funds with a return on public education, and advocating for victims of financial exploitation.
All in all, she wants to keep elected officials accountable for how they spend your money.
“The founders we’re brilliant, because the treasurer is an independently elected officer that doesn’t have a say in the budget process and doesn’t have a say in the taxation process,” said Godlewski. “The Governor and the legislation right now are taxing you and they’re telling you how they’re going to spend your money…this opens up the aperture for fraud and abuse.”
In addition, Godlewski wants to create a financial report on all state transactions and how government is spending the public’s money, as well as becoming an advocate for financial exploitation. The treasurer’s office is funded through unclaimed property and not tax payer dollars, which leads the way for more transparency and accountability on the office’s behalf.
Godlewski would also like the office to continue to be an important resource for Wisconsin residents.
[Treasurer’s office] “It provides hundreds of millions of dollars to local communities, and has lended to all 72 counties in Wisconsin for road projects, unfunded pension liabilities, and economic development.” said Godlewski.
Last year, the office helped fund $35 million dollars worth of books and technology to public schools.
Overall, the position, while overlooked, can foster an environment of civic engagement, and Godlewski encourages all residents to find out why and how their money is being spent by visiting the state’s Board of Commissioners website.
“There’s a wealth of info on there that people don’t often visit.”
Elections for State Treasurer take place this Tuesday, Aug. 14. To find out more information on all candidates, visit the various links below.