State Treasurer

By: Laurie E. Jasinski

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: July 1, 1995

The office of state treasurer described in the Constitution of 1876 was established as a state office by the Constitution of 1845 and superseded a similar office in the Republic of Texas. The treasurer was elected and served for four years as head of the State Treasury Department. The major duties of the office were to receive and keep state money, maintain accounts of all receipts and expenditures, collect cigarette and tobacco taxes and certain gross-receipts taxes, serve as custodian of securities in trust, receive unclaimed property held in trust, and administer money in a local government-investment pool known as TexPool. Additionally, the treasurer acted as chairman of the State Depository Board and the Cash Management Committee, officer of the Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company, and member of the State Banking Board and Bond Review Board. The State Treasury Department was organized into two divisions-fiscal management and administration. Within the fiscal management area the Fiscal Operations Division processed checks from state agencies and state warrants. The State Depository Board approved Texas financial institutions to function as state depositories and establishes interest rates on state time deposits. The Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company kept several billion dollars in securities owned by state agencies and the treasury. Unclaimed money from dormant bank accounts, insurance benefits, corporate dividends, and mineral proceeds, for example, were handled through the Unclaimed Property Division; the treasury attempted to locate missing owners. The administrative divisions of the treasury provided computer operations, legal support, and the sale and distribution of cigarette and alcoholic-beverage stamps. The Cash Flow Estimating Division forecast state expenditures and revenue. The Rapid Deposit Program developed efficient cash-management programs. A system called TEXNET, begun in 1990, was designed to receive and process large taxpayer payments electronically to hasten interest earnings. In 1990 approximately 260 employees worked in the State Treasury Department, which had an operating budget of more than $21 million. The treasury processed more than 34,000 checks a day from state agencies and earned more than $300 million in interest during the fiscal year. In November 1995 Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment to abolish the office of the state treasurer, effective August 31, 1996. The office of Comptroller of Public Accounts assumed the functions of the State Treasury Department.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Laurie E. Jasinski, “State Treasurer,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 27, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995