The State Treasurer has broad responsibilities and authority in the areas of investment and finance and serves as the State’s lead asset manager, banker and financier. In addition, the Treasurer serves as chairperson or a member of numerous State authorities, boards and commissions including the Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS).
In addition, the Treasurer plays a key role in statewide housing finance as Chair of the Tax Credit Allocation Committee that awards hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits for affordable housing and as a member of the Board of the California Housing Finance Agency, which finances affordable housing.
The laws governing the Treasurer are found in the Governor Code, Sections 12302 – 12305.
The Treasurer may appoint one deputy treasurer at an annual salary that the Treasurer establishes and the Treasurer may also designate any officer or employee of his or her office. The Treasurer also has authority to appoint and set the salaries of those officers and employee as may be necessary to carry out the duties of the office. Of course, this subject to budget approval by the Legislature and Governor. (Section 12302)
Peace officers of the California Highway Patrol must make routine inspections of the Treasurer’s office after normal working hours each day and even on weekends and holidays. (Section 12304).
The Treasurer has authority to contract for insurance against the loss of any securities and money in his or her custody from any type of insurable risk. But the amount of insurance cannot exceed the daily average amount of cash and securities in the Treasurer’s custody. (Section 12305)
The laws setting forth the duties of the Treasurer are found in Government Code Sections 12320 – 12333.
The Treasurer must retain all moneys belonging to the State in the vaults of the State Treasury, or for deposit in banks and credit unions. Bonds and other securities of the State, except those belong to CALPERS and CALSTRS, must be received and retained by the Treasurer. (Section 12320)
The Treasurer is prohibited from receiving any money into the state’s Treasury unless it is certified by the Controller. (Section 12321)
The Treasurer must endorse a memo receipt upon the documents that accompany money that her been transmitted for deposit to the State. (Section 12323)
The Treasurer must pay all warrants drawn by the Controller. (Section 12324) The Treasurer must deliver daily to the Controller all cancelled warrants. (Section 12325) And, the Treasurer must keep an accounting of all monies received and disbursed. (Section 12326) Each day, the Treasurer must report to the Controller the amounts disbursed the prior day and the funds out of which they were paid. (Section 12328)
The Treasurer must report to the Governor by the 15th day of September in each even-numbered year the exact balance in the treasury, as well as a summary of the receipts and payments of treasury during the past two fiscal years. (Section 12329)
Either house of the Legislature or any legislative committee can request that the Treasurer give written information regarding the condition of the state’s treasury or upon any subject related to his or her duties as Treasurer. The Treasurer must annually prepare by October 1 a detailed debt affordability report and present it to the Governor and Legislature. This lets the Legislature determine the amount to appropriate for debt service each year. (Section 12330).
Whenever any law or state agency requires a pledge of money be made to secure performance, the pledges must be approved by the state agency and then be deposited with the Treasurer. (Section 12331)
The Treasurer is designated as the elected representative of California to approve the issuance of bonds, notes or other evidence of indebtedness issued by the state. If the Treasurer is unavailable, then the Attorney General is designated as the state’s representative. (Section 12332)
The Treasurer may act as a trustee, registrar, agency, custodian, or other fiduciary or representative capacity for any purpose permitted by law. He or she may also accept and execute any trust business permitted by law regarding the sale or issuance of bonds, notes, etc. (Section 12333)