Pennsylvania Treasurer

Pennsylvania State Treasurer
Logo of the Pennsylvania State Treasury.png
Logo of the Pennsylvania State Treasury
Flag of Pennsylvania.svg
Flag of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
= Incumbent treasurer Joe Torsella facing toward the right with a smile and dark-framed glasses, while wearing a dark blue suit coat, light shirt, and light blue tie with alternating white and dark blue diagonal stripes
Joe Torsella

since January 17, 2017
Residence 129 Finance Building, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Term length Four years, renewable once consecutively
Inaugural holder David Rittenhouse
Formation 1777

The Pennsylvania State Treasurer is the head of the Pennsylvania Treasury Department, an independent department of state government. The state treasurer is elected every four years. Treasurers are limited to two consecutive terms.

The Pennsylvania Treasury Department

As the name "Treasury" suggests, the department's paramount responsibility is safeguarding and managing the state's financial assets, but Pennsylvania's constitution and statutes place additional specific responsibilities on the office.[citation needed]

Taxes and other sources of revenue collected by the state are deposited with the Treasury. The department uses that money to make payments on behalf of state government, including payroll for state employees and charges incurred by government agencies. Before issuing payments, Treasury's Bureau of Fiscal Review must carefully examine invoices to make certain the charges are lawful and correct.[citation needed]

While managing cash flow to ensure that enough money is on hand to meet financial obligations, Treasury also places funds in widely diversified short-term and long-term investments to earn income for state taxpayers. It also holds and/or invests funds for other government agencies, such as the state pension boards. As of 2014, Treasury is custodian of approximately $100 billion in public assets.[citation needed]

PA 529 College Savings Program

The PA 529 College Savings Program gives families a tax-advantaged way to make college possible for their children.[citation needed]

Unclaimed property

Treasury's Unclaimed Property Bureau works to reunite more than $2 billion in lost, forgotten and abandoned property with its rightful owners. Since 2009, Treasury has collected $1.134 billion in abandoned property and returned $518 million back to the rightful owners, netting $616 million for the state General Fund budget.[citation needed]


The INVEST program helps local governments and nonprofits invest their money with flexibility, security, and confidence. INVEST uses Treasury's professional investment expertise, minus the high costs of other investment programs. With less money spent on management fees, more money is spent on Pennsylvania's communities.[citation needed]


Through its various activities, Treasury is a money-maker for the state, producing non-tax revenue that benefits the people of the commonwealth. Along with the $616 million from Unclaimed Property, Treasury in the past five years has earned $2.32 billion in investment returns and blocked $450 million in improper payments identified through the fiscal review process. During those five years, Treasury cost taxpayers only about $250 million to operate, meaning Treasury produced a profit for Pennsylvania taxpayers of more than $3.1 billion.[citation needed]


  1. Conducting investigations of loss, theft, or fraud involving commonwealth checks.
  2. Reviewing and approving real estate leases and sole source contracts entered into by commonwealth agencies before such leases and contracts can become effective.
  3. Housing the Pennsylvania Contracts e-Library. In response to the new Right-to-Know Law signed by Governor Ed Rendell on February 14, 2008, Treasury is required to make available certain government contract information for public inspection by posting it on a publicly accessible Web site.[citation needed]

State boards

The department's reach also extends to the many state boards on which the treasurer serves. For example, as the chairperson of the Board of Finance and Revenue, the treasurer directs the selection of the banks where state funds are deposited and sets the interest rates paid on them. The treasurer also serves on boards that oversee state pension funds and has a voice in how these funds are managed and invested. Other board-related activities allow the treasurer to help provide Pennsylvania schools with tax-exempt financing for modernization, make grants to distressed communities, and finance the purchase of rental housing for residents in need.[citation needed]

Other services

The Treasury provides several other services to state residents, such as financial education programs for individuals and businesses, and a debit card for recipients of unemployment compensation and workers compensation benefits. It makes low-interest loans available for energy efficiency improvements in residential homes through Keystone HELP, and invests in energy upgrades in college and university buildings through its Campus Energy Efficiency Fund.[citation needed]

List of Pennsylvania Treasurers

Portrait Name Term Party
SamuelCarpenter1649-1714.jpg Samuel Carpenter 1704–1710, 1711–1713
Charles Willson Peale - David Rittenhouse - Google Art Project.jpg David Rittenhouse 1777–1789
Hans Christian Febiger.jpg Christian Febiger 1789–1797
Peter Baynton 1797–1801
Jacob Carpenter 1801–1802
Isaac Weaver, Jr. 1802–1807 Democratic-Republican
WFindley.jpg William Findlay 1807–1817 Democratic-Republican
R. M. Crain 1817–1820
John B. Trevor 1820–1821
William Clark 1821–1827
Alexander Mahon 1827–1835
Joseph Lawrence 1835–1836
Daniel Sturgeon 1836–1840
Almon Heath Read 1840–1841 Democratic
John Gilmore 1841–1842
Job Mann 1842–1845
JamesRossSnowden.JPG James Ross Snowden 1845–1847
John Banks 1847–1848
Arnold Plumber 1848–1849
Gideon J. Ball 1849–1850
John M. Bickel 1850–1854
JosephBaileyPA.jpg Joseph Bailey 1854–1855 Democratic
Eli Slifer 1855–1856
Henry S. Magraw 1856–1859
Eli Slifer 1859–1861
Henry D. Moore 1861–1863 Republican
William V. McGrath 1863–1864
Henry D. Moore 1864–1865 Republican
William H. Kemble 1865–1868
W. W. Irwin 1868–1869
Robert W. Mackey 1869–1870
W. W. Irwin 1870–1871
Robert W. Mackey 1871–1876
Henry Rawle 1876–1878
Amos C. Noyes 1878–1880
Samuel Butler 1880–1882
Silas M. Bailey 1882–1884
William Livsey 1884–1886
History of Beaver County, Pennsylvania and its centennial celebration, (1904) (14804406853).jpg Matthew Quay 1886–1887 Republican
William Livsey 1887–1888
William B. Hart 1888–1889
William Livsey 1889–1890
Henry K. Boyer 1890–1892
John W. Morrison 1892–1894
Samuel M. Jackson 1894–1896
Benjamin J. Haywood 1896–1898
James S. Beacom 1898–1900 Republican
James E. Barnett 1900–1902
Frank G. Harris 1902–1904
William L. Mathues 1904–1906 Republican
William H. Berry - History of Iowa.jpg William H. Berry 1906–1908 Democratic
John O. Sheatz 1908–1911 Republican
Charles Frederick Wright.jpg Charles Frederick Wright 1911–1913 Republican
Robert K. Young 1913–1917 Republican
Harmon M. Kephart 1917–1921 Republican
Charles A. Snyder 1921–1925 Republican
Samuel S. Lewis 1925–1929 Republican
EdwardMartinPA.jpg Edward Martin 1929–1933 Republican
Charles A. Waters 1933–1937 Republican
F. Clair Ross 1937–1941 Democratic
Portrait of G Harold Wagner.jpg G. Harold Wagner 1941–1945 Democratic
Ramsey S. Black 1945–1949 Democratic
Charles R. Barber 1949–1953 Republican
Weldon Brinton Heyburn 1953–1957 Republican
Robert F. Kent 1957–1961 Republican
Grace M. Sloan 1961–1965 Democratic
Thomas Z. Minehart 1965–1969 Democratic
Grace M. Sloan 1969–1977 Democratic
Robert E. Casey[1] 1977–1981 Democratic
R. Budd Dwyer swearing in as Pennsylvanian state treasurer, 1984 (cropped).jpg R. Budd Dwyer 1981–1987 Republican
G. Davis Greene, Jr. 1987–1989 Democratic
Catherine Baker Knoll headshot.jpg Catherine Baker Knoll 1989–1997 Democratic
Barbara Hafer (switched to Democratic Party in 2003) 1997–2005 Republican
Bob Casey Jr. official photo.jpg Bob Casey, Jr. 2005–2007 Democratic
Robin L. Wiessmann 2007–2009 Democratic
Rob McCord.png Robert McCord 2009–2015 Democratic
Tim Reese 2015–2017 Independent
Joe Torsella.jpg Joe Torsella 2017–present Democratic

See also


  1. ^ Madonna, G. Terry; Young, Michael (2001-05-22). "In Pennsylvania politics, candidates with brand names win elections". The Morning Call. Retrieved 2020-01-17. obscure Cambria County official

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