For Immediate Release
March 03, 2016
PA Treasurer Reese Statement on Department of Corrections Payments
Harrisburg – Below is a statement by Pennsylvania State Treasurer Timothy A. Reese regarding payment requisitions submitted by the Office of Budget for the continuing operating expenses of state prisons that exceed the existing line-item appropriation level authorization within the 2015-16 Fiscal Year General Fund Budget.
“As Treasurer, I have a fiduciary obligation to the citizens of the Commonwealth to act in their best interest and to protect the finances of Pennsylvania. I take this obligation very seriously and my priority has been to act transparently and rely on legal precedent to guide the department during the budget impasse and subsequent implementation of the FY 2015-2106 budget."
“I have determined that there is sufficient legal basis to pay requisitions submitted to Treasury by the Office of Budget for the continuing operating expenses of state prisons. While these requisitions exceed the existing appropriation level of the 2015-2016 Fiscal Year budget, the failure to make these payments in a timely manner would jeopardize the safe operations of the state prisons and risk public safety."
“I am sensitive to both the budgetary implications of my decision as well as the constitutional tensions that this matter has created. Accordingly, I intend to work with the Administration to establish appropriate controls to ensure only those payments that are truly critical and necessary for the Department of Corrections to safely operate prisons and satisfy state and federal constitutional obligations are paid. In addition, I intend to maintain a monthly account, documenting all non-salary payments approved by Treasury for prison operations.”
Click here for Treasurer Reese’s letter and legal memorandum.
Media contact: Scott Sloat, 717.787.4098 or 717.695.1789 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pennsylvania Treasury is an independent department of state government led by the state treasurer, who is elected every four years. The department's primary duty is to safeguard and manage the state's public funds. It invests state money to generate income on behalf of the citizens of Pennsylvania, reviews and processes payments for state government agencies, and serves as custodian of more than $100 billion in state funds. Key Treasury programs include Unclaimed Property, PA 529 College Savings Program and the Board of Finance and Revenue.