By Shereen Siewert
State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski will hold an event next week in Wausau, an effort to help people understand the role of the treasurer’s office in Wisconsin.
The event, sponsored by the Citizen Action of Wis. North Central Organizing Co-op, Women for Women and County Board Supervisor and Co-op Member Katie Rosenberg, is planned for 6 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Marathon County Public Library, 300 N. First St., Wausau.
A meet and greet from 6 p.m. to 6: 30 p.m. will kick off the event, followed by a presentation by Godlewski. Audience questions will be addressed before the event ends.
Godlewski ran for office on an ambitious platform that proposed to make the treasurer a watchdog over financial transactions involving taxpayer dollars with an eye toward providing accountability and transparency, according to a report by The Nation, a weekly magazine covering progressive political and cultural news, opinion, and analysis.. During her campaign, she proposed to use state trust fund money “to help address the student loan crisis, by paying off debts and refinancing them at a lower rate that still provides an attractive return for the state.” Godlewski told voters, “The treasurer should be your champion in the fight against financial exploitation. Seniors, veterans, and vulnerable communities across our state have been taken advantage of for too long.”
Godlewski has been working to refute the perception that the treasurer’s office is redundant in Wisconsin. Her predecessor, Republican Matt Adamczyk, and many state lawmakers from both parties say the office no longer serves a purpose. Among her responsibilities: serving on the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, which manages a $1.1 billion endowment that provided about $36 million to school libraries in 2018. One of Godlewski’s first actions as treasurer-elect was requesting the Legislative Reference Bureau produce a memo listing what responsibilities she is assigned to by law, according to a Wisconsin State Journal report. The nonpartisan office came back with 16 powers she retains.
Funding for the office is provided through program revenue associated with the Unclaimed Property Program, which the treasurer plays a role in promoting.
The event, free and open to the public, is not sponsored by the Marathon County Public Library. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.