Tennessee Constitutional Officers

The Tennessee State Constitution provides for three constitutional officers: the secretary of state, the comptroller of the treasury, and the treasurer. All three are elected by a joint session of the general assembly; the secretary of state serves a four-year term, and the other two officers serve two-year terms.

Riley C. Darnell, a Democrat from Clarksville, was secretary of state in 2001. According to the Tennessee Constitution, the secretary of state is required to keep a register of the official acts and proceedings of the governor and provide the general assembly with all papers, minutes, and vouchers relative to the office of the governor. In addition, the Tennessee Code Annotated requires that the secretary of state serve on the following boards and agencies: the State Funding Board, Board of Equalization, Board of Claims, State Building Commission, Library and Archive Management Board, Tennessee Local Development Authority, Tennessee State School Bond Authority, Publications Committee, Public Records Commission, Tennessee Housing Development Agency, Board of Trustees of the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, State Capitol Commission, Tennessee Competitive Export Corporation, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and State Trust Board of Directors.

The secretary of state keeps all acts and resolutions passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor, making them available to the public in pamphlets or bound volumes. The office also keeps other records required by statute including annual reports, the receipt and recording of corporate charters, the receipt of all trademarks, the execution of notary commissions, and the receipt of all state administrative rules and regulations.

The office of the secretary of state is located on the first floor of the Capitol. Seven of the operating offices are located in the James K. Polk State Office Building: Division of Fiscal and Administration Services, Division of Personnel and Development, Division of Administrative Procedures, Division of Charitable Solicitations, Division of Elections, Division of Publications, and Division of Services. The Division of Library and Archives is located in the State Library and Archives on Seventh Avenue.

John G. Morgan is the comptroller of the treasury. His duties, which are defined by statute, relate to the audit of state and local government entities and participation in the general financial and administrative management of state government. The comptroller serves on the following boards and agencies: State Building Commission, State Capitol Commission, Board of Claims, Board of Equalization, State Funding Board, Tennessee State School Bond Authority, Tennessee Local Development Authority, Tennessee Housing Development Authority, Board of Standards, Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, Health Facilities Commission, Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation, Publications Committee, Public Records Commission, State Insurance Committee, State Library and Archives Management Board, Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, Information Systems Council, Tennessee Competitive Export Corporation, State Trust of Tennessee Board of Directors, Child Care Facilities Corporation, Governor’s Council on Health and Physical Fitness, Sports Festivals Incorporated, Utility Management Review Board, Tennessee Commodity Producers Indemnity Corporation, Workers Compensation Insurance Fund Board, Wastewater Financing Board, Council on Pensions and Insurance, Higher Education Commission, Task Force on Not-for-Profit Accountability, and the 1996 Bicentennial Commission. In addition to the administration division of the comptroller’s office, there are nine other divisions, including the Office of Management Services, Division of State Audit, Division of County Audit, Division of Bond Finance, Division of Local Finance, Office of Local Government, Division of Property Assessments, and Offices of Research and Education Accountability.

Steve Adams has served as the state treasurer since 1987. This constitutional office is charged with duties and responsibilities relating to the financial operations of state government. In recent years, the state treasurer has also assumed responsibility for accounting for the receipt and disbursement of public funds, investing available cash balances, administering the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, investing the pension fund, operating the state’s Unclaimed Property Program, administering the State Employees’ Deferred Compensation Program, operating the State Employees’ Flexible Benefits Plan, and directing the staff of the Division of Claims Administration and the Risk Management Division. The state treasurer is a member of the following commissions and agencies: Funding Board, Board of Claims, Board of Equalization, School Bond Authority, Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation, State Library and Archives Management Board, State Employee and Teacher Group Insurance Committees, Tennessee Competitive Export Corporation, Tennessee Housing Development Agency, Local Development Authority, Defense Counsel Commission, Counsel on Pensions and Insurance, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Public Records Commission, State Building Commission, Board of Trustees of the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, Investment Advisory Council, State Capitol Commission, State Trust Board of Directors, Sick Leave Bank Board, Chairs of Excellence and Baccalaureate Education System Trust Boards, Tennessee Child Care Loan Guarantee Board, Tuition Guaranty Fund Board, Commission to Purchase Federal Property, Worker’s Compensation Fund Board, Collateral Pool Board, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Board, and Tennessee Bicentennial Commission. The state treasurer’s office is located in the Capitol building, and the operating divisions have offices in the Andrew Jackson State Office Building. Operating divisions include Staff Services, Division of Retirement, Investment Division, Division of Claims Administration, Division of Risk Management, Accounting Division, Division of Information Systems, Division of Management Services, and Division of Financial Control.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Tennessee Constitutional Officers
  • Author
  • Website Name Tennessee Encyclopedia
  • URL
  • Access Date June 17, 2024
  • Publisher Tennessee Historical Society
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 1, 2018