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New Wisconsin Treasurer rebuilds office

NOW: New Wisconsin Treasurer rebuilds office

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Wisconsin Treasurer Sarah Godlewski is facing an uphill battle.

On the same day she issued her first proclamation, aiming to help Wisconsinites save money, she coordinated with a construction crew came to install lights and hardwired internet inside the closet she works out of, in the basement of the state Capitol.

Former state treasurer Matt Adamczyk literally ran on the platform to get rid of the office.

“The reality is the office has pretty much been gutted, and there’s nothing left," Adamczyk told us last year, as he pushed for voters to eliminate the job in a constitutional amendment. 

But  voters disagreed on April 3 of 2018.

Enter Godlewski, who says the problem wasn’t the office, but the treasurer.

“I think there’s a lot of assumptions that this office has no powers, when the reality is the legislative reference bureau came up with over 16 responsibilities that this office should have been doing.”

But resources are limited. Godlewski says after accounting for her salary, she has about a $10,000 annual budget.

She also has to build off Adamczyk’s plan, which consisted of a flip phone for his government work, and no internet in the office.

“Getting internet for example, or recharging our phones, or actually getting computers,” Godlewski listed as steps taken to rebuild the position.

She also hired a part time staff member, using a grant. She says some of the biggest responsibilities she found for the office are serving on the board of the $1.2 billion trust fund for public lands, signing all state checks, acting as treasurer for the pension board and maximizing  state investments.

Godlewski, who previously founded an investment firm, said the treasurer should not only manage state money but let citizens know where it goes.

“Where are our tax dollars going? How do we know how much money you said you were going to spend? And so providing that transparency.”

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