For Immediate Release
January 17, 2017
At Swearing-In, New PA Treasurer Joe Torsella Calls for Accountability, Transparency and Innovation with Bipartisan Support
Former President George Herbert Walker Bush writes “[Joe] makes decisions based on what is best for all of us, not for him or his party.”
Harrisburg, PA - After taking the oath of office at Camp Curtin Academy, a Harrisburg, PA public middle school, Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella called for a commitment to government that is accountable, transparent and uses technology and innovation to financially empower all Pennsylvanians. Torsella swore the oath on a Bible that belonged to Pennsylvania Founder, William Penn [see Bible photo here], stressing that the commonwealth will have a Treasurer who is not just honest and accountable, but who also helps more working Pennsylvanians save for retirement, more families save for college and who uses our common resources to build our common future.
Speaking to students on the founding of the commonwealth, Torsella said:
“Penn called it a ‘holy experiment’ in self-government. And what makes that experiment work is trust. Trust in each other, and, especially, trust in the leaders we choose to make decisions on our behalf. If we want to leave the next generation with a state government worthy of William Penn’s vision, it starts with rebuilding the sacred trust that has been broken far too often in recent years."
"Elected officials should be more accountable than anyone. So, as my first act as Treasurer, I’m calling for a new standard of accountability. Let’s use the power of technology to open up our state’s finances so that everyone can see how our money is being spent – and so that wrongdoing has nowhere to hide. Let’s put more watchdogs on the beat so we can be sure that those of us who take these oaths in public live by them in private, starting with me. And let’s make the office of Treasurer known for the very highest standards of integrity.”
Torsella’s wife, Carolyn Short Torsella, read a letter from former President George Herbert Walker Bush to the students. In it, Bush encouraged students to make a difference in their communities and country, explaining that party affiliation should not stand in the way of progress:
"I hope it does not surprise you that I am such a big fan of Joe’s, despite the fact he is a Democrat, and I am a Republican. Some people seem to think these days that you can’t get along with each other, much less respect and like each other, if you don’t belong to the same party. Not true. Not true at all. I admire Joe because he has devoted his life to public service, and has served with great honor and distinction. He loves his state, and he loves his country. He makes decisions based on what is best for all of us, not for him or his party."
Access Treasurer Torsella’s prepared remarks
Access President George Herbert Walker Bush’s letter
Scott Sloat: (717) 783-4098, (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.