Kentucky State Treasury Newsroom
Unanimous Vote Moves Treasurer Backed SB 223 out of Committee
Frankfort, KY (March, 2014) – Kentucky Treasurer Todd Hollenbach today praised Senator Robin Webb, Senate President Robert Stivers and members of the Senate Judiciary committee for the bipartisan and unanimous support of Senate Bill 223. “This legislation provides further clarification of the checks and balance between Constitutional Officers and the General Assembly.” the Treasurer said. “The taxpayers of the state will benefit most from the bill because it provides enhanced transparency over the expenditure of state funds and insures that the various branches of government remain within their constitutionally intended roles.” Hollenbach added.
The issue was brought to light following recent monetary settlements between a state constitutional office and various private companies. A bipartisan concern arose over the constitutional propriety of the disposition of the settlement funds by the constitutional officer. Current law requires only written notification to the legislative leadership of any disposition of funds by state agencies or Officers.
“In accordance with the Treasurer’s constitutional obligation to ensure disbursements are legally authorized, I reviewed the court ordered settlement and found it proper”, Treasurer Hollenbach said. “But I also discovered that the current law lacks clear wording and definition of constitutional oversight of the legislature in determining the allocations of settlement funds.”
SB 223 would require any state entity that is about to enter into a settlement in a pending legal action to notify the Legislature, its Leadership and the Treasurer’s Office within a reasonable amount of time to allow all relevant stakeholders the opportunity to have input and oversight in the allocation of any settlement funds. The bill would also require any settlement money be deposited into the state’s general fund surplus account ensuring that the legislature would retain primacy over the appropriation of the settlement funds.