On November 8th, Pennsylvanians will be voting for the top watchdogs of the state – the State Row Offices: Attorney General, Auditor General and State Treasurer. What are the primary roles and responsibilities of these positions?
The Attorney General is Pennsylvania’s top law enforcement official, with a wide range of responsibilities to protect and serve the citizens and agencies of the Commonwealth. A major role of the Attorney General is to defend and uphold the law. The Attorney General even has the responsibility to defend the constitutionality of state laws in the Supreme Court, or oppose unconstitutional laws imposed upon on the state by the federal government. As the head law enforcement official in the state, the office of the Attorney General requires someone with a strong moral backbone to properly carry out their duties. The most recently-elected Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, neglected to perform her duties with integrity. She was convicted of 9 criminal charges, including conspiracy, perjury, and obstruction of justice.
The Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General is the chief fiscal watchdog of the commonwealth. They are responsible for using audits to ensure that all state money is spent legally and properly. The Department of the Auditor General is to serve the people of Pennsylvania by improving government accountability, transparency, and the effective use of taxpayer dollars. The Auditor General’s oversight covers a multitude of industries.
The Pennsylvania Treasury is an independent department of state government. The department’s paramount responsibility is to safeguard and manage the state’s public funds. Pennsylvania’s constitution and statutes place additional specific responsibilities on the office.
Taxes and other sources of revenue collected by the state are deposited with the Treasury. The department uses that money to make payments on behalf of state government, including payroll for state employees and charges incurred by government agencies. Before issuing payments, Treasury’s Bureau of Fiscal Review must carefully examine invoices to make certain the charges are lawful and correct.
It is important that a morally-sound person is elected for this position. Someone who will not fall to the temptation of power and money, especially in the treasury department. Our most recently elected State Treasurer, Rob McCord, was forced to resign under criminal charges. McCord pleaded guilty to extortion charges after trying to use his position as Treasurer to take $125,000 in contributions from a law firm and property management company. It is important that this November, Pennsylvanians elect a State Treasurer who is honest and can intelligently manage Pennsylvania’s public funds.
- Visit www.PaFamilyVoter.com to get your free personalized ballot so you know where the U.S. Senate and U.S. House candidates stand on the issues important to you.
- Order printed Voter’s Guides for your church.
- Vote on Tuesday, November 8th!
In the next post we’ll discuss the State Senate…