Responsibilities and Impact
As the state’s chief financial officer, the Treasurer:
- Signs millions of checks per year from the state’s checkbook, overseeing how public money is spent and providing transparency for taxpayers
- Assists in improving the management and investment of state funds
- Serves as the treasurer of the state’s two largest investment portfolios, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) and the state’s employee trust fund (ETF)
- Promotes the state’s unclaimed property program in order to return thousands of dollars to Wisconsin taxpayers
- Supports your local treasurers by providing training opportunities and resources for treasurers across the state
- Serves as Chair of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL):
- Manages a $1.2 billion trust fund and 80,000 acres of public lands
- Annually disburses money back into public schools to fund books and technology (2020 annual and supplemental disbursements totaled $43.5 million)
- Invests in Wisconsin communities for projects in economic development and infrastructure
History of the State Treasurer's Office
Established in 1848 by the Wisconsin Constitution, the State Treasurer is Wisconsin’s chief financial officer. The office was first imagined by the state’s founders as a check on the government’s financial decisions and a steward of its public lands. Throughout the years, the Office has evolved significantly. Until 1995, the OST safeguarded state securities purchased by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, and, most notably, in 2003 all cash management responsibilities were taken from the OST. Over the last 25 years, the duties of the office have changed with the times but the mission remains the same.
That's why Treasurer Godlewski stepped up to save this office in 2018 when it was in danger of being eliminated. She helped form the Save Our Fiscal Watchdog committee that traveled the state educating the public about the mission and potential of this office. When the people of Wisconsin considered the referendum to amend our constitution and remove this critical financial role, they determined by an overwhelming margin that they wanted to keep it.
Treasurer Godlewski is firmly committed to upholding the duties of her office. As Wisconsin’s chief financial officer and lead investor, she will ensure public accountability in government finance and the best returns on public investments.