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Office of the State Treasurer of Oklahoma
Oklahomastateseal.png
Great Seal of Oklahoma
Agency overview
Formed November 17, 1907
Preceding agency Office of the Territorial Treasurer
Headquarters Oklahoma State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Employees 67 unclassified
Annual budget $150 million
Agency executive Scott Meacham, State Treasurer
Website
Office of the State Treasurer

The State Treasurer of Oklahoma is the chief custodian of Oklahoma’s cash deposits, monies from bond sales, and other securities and collateral and directs the investments of those assets. The Treasurer provides for the safe and efficient operation of state government through effective banking, investment, and cash management.

The 17th and current State Treasurer of Oklahoma is Scott Meacham. Following the resignation of the previous State Treasurer, Robert Butkin, Governor Brad Henry appointed Meacham to finish out Butkin’s term. His appointive term began on June 1, 2005 and he won election to a full term in 2006.

Contents

Constitutional Requirements

As with all offices established by the Oklahoma Constitution in Article V, any person running for the office of State Treasurer of Oklahoma must be citizen of the State of Oklahoma, at least thirty-one years of age and a resident of the United States for ten years.

Election

Elections for the State Treasurer are held on a four year concurrent basis with the election of the Governor. After all votes are collected, the Legislature of Oklahoma shall convene in the hall of the House of Representatives and the Speaker of the House of Representatives announce the results of the elections in the presence of a majority of each branch of the Legislature. The persons having the highest number of votes for the office of the State Treasurer shall be declared duly elected. However, in case two or more shall have an equal and the highest number of votes for the office of State Treasurer, the Legislature shall, by joint ballot, choose one of the said persons having an equal and the highest number of votes for the office of State Treasurer.

Term(s) of Office

The State Treasurer’s four year term begins on the first Monday in January falling the general election and runs concurrently with that term of the Governor of Oklahoma. The Constitution of Oklahoma places no limit to the number of terms a candidate may serve in succession or in total.

Powers and Responsibilities

Oklahoma

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The State Treasurer has the following specific statutory and constitutional responsibilities:

  • Receiving, depositing, and disbursing all state funds
  • Investing temporary surplus funds
  • Investing specific funds for other state agencies where authorized
  • Requiring banks to furnish collateral sufficient to secure deposits of state and other public funds
  • Paying of interest on the state's bonded debt and the redeeming of the debt at maturity
  • Maintaining a safekeeping operation for securities owned by various state agencies, and those securities pledged as collateral to other state agencies
  • Processing and distributing all State checks (known as warrants)
  • Administering the Business Link and Agricultural Link Programs
  • Administering the Unclaimed Property Program

Approximately $10 billion dollars is deposited each year at the State Treasurer's office into the Oklahoma State Treasury. This includes state tax revenues, such as income tax and gross production tax receipts; federal funds, such as matching funds for highway construction; and other tax revenues, such as the motor fuel tax, which are collected by the state but then apportioned to the counties and cities.

The State Treasurer has no power to impose taxes, set tax rates or collect taxes; only to make sure all public funds are properly accounted for once it has been collected or distributed by other executive branch entities. Also, the State Treasurer doesn't formulate the state's annual budget nor does the office have any authority to impound funds allocated by the Oklahoma State Legislature.

To earn additional revenue for Oklahoma, the State Treasurer invests money which is not immediately needed to fund government operations. The office has an average of $5 billion of taxpayers’ money in its investment portfolio. The Treasurer's investments are strictly governed by Oklahoma statutes and the Treasurer's investment policy.

Many of the Treasurer's duties require the advice of both the Governor of Oklahoma and the Attorney General of Oklahoma, such as the ability to determine the use of the State's surplus funds. Constitutionally the State Treasurer presides over or is a member of four state boards and commissions.

Commission Position
Oklahoma College Savings Plan Board of Trustees Chairman
Board of Investors of the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Chairman
State Industrial Finance Authority Non-Voting Member
State Board of Equalization Member

Relationship with the Governor

Though both the Governor of Oklahoma and State Treasurer are elected at the same time, they are elected independently of each other. This makes determining the exact relationship between the offices difficult as it is primarily based on those individuals who hold the offices. With Governor Brad Henry and Attorney General Scott Meacham in office, Oklahoma has had a Governor and State Treasurer of the same party since 2003 since both Henry and Meacham are of the Democratic Party.

When a Governor and State Treasurer are of the same party, the Governor often uses the State Treasurer as his chief fiscal advisor. Then can be seen when Governor Brad Henry appointed State Treasurer Scott Meacahm as his Secretary of Finance and Revenue in his Cabinet, giving Meacham supervision over all finance agencies of the State government. However, when the Governor and State Treasurer are of different parties, the State Treasurer's role in State government is often minimal.

The Governor, acting through the Oklahoma Office of State Finance (whose Director serves at the pleasure of the Governor), determines the budget for the entire State government (including the Office of the State Treasurer). The State Treasurer does not have the power to alter the budget or to impound funds. The primary power the State Treasure has is the ability to invest state assests, however this sometimes requires the consent of the Governor. Given these powers, the Governor is clearly the chief party in the relationship.

Oath of Office

"I, ........., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma, and that I will not, knowingly, receive, directly or indirectly, any money or other valuable thing, for the performance or nonperformance of any act or duty pertaining to my office, other than the compensation allowed by law; I further swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully discharge my duties as State Treasurer of the State of Oklahoma to the best of my ability."

See also

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