Bill Would Abolish Offices of State Controller, Treasurer

Mar 1, 2017

Assemblyman Elliot Anderson presents AJR 6 to lawmakers
Credit Paul Boger

Nevada lawmakers are considering a bill that would eliminate the offices of State Controller and Treasurer. 

 

AJR6 would for all intents and purposes do away with the offices as elected positions and would instead make them appointees by the governor.

The measure’s primary sponsor is Democratic Assemblyman Elliot Anderson of Las Vegas. 

“Right now, the only qualification to be treasurer or controller is to be 18 and be a resident of Nevada. If we were to do something like a selection commission that then appointed our recommended candidate to the governor we would get more qualified candidates to choose from who have experience in financial management.”

Since both positions are part of the state’s constitution, any measure passed by lawmakers would also have to be approved by the voters during the 2020 election. 

Both current office holders Treasurer Dan Schwartz and Controller Ron Knecht would not be affected by the change due to term limitations. However, Schwartz says relying on the governor to choose a treasurer could have serious consequences.

“There is very little discussion of the fact that all you’re really doing is consolidating power in the Governor’ office and he’s already got plenty to do. I think it’s a really bad idea and, hopefully, that has been part of the discussion.”

This isn’t the first time lawmakers have tried to make the state treasurer and controller appointed positions. Lawmakers proposed similar legislation in 2003 and 2005.