Acting Treasurer Named

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State Senator Mark Hillman was sworn in today as acting state treasurer.

He'll be filling in for Mike Coffman, who left this week to serve with the Marines for nine months in Iraq.

Governor Owens says Hillman is a -- quote -- "principled and energetic leader."

Owens acknowledged that he and Hillman still have differences over a measure on the November ballot. The measure asks voters to give up three-point-one (b) billion dollars in tax surplus refunds over the next five years to fix the state's budget problems.

Owens supports the measure -- Hillman doesn't, but Hillman says he has no plans to campaign against it.

Hillman is a Republican wheat farmer from Burlington on the Eastern Plains. He's promising to be a strong steward of taxpayer dollars and says he'll be a voice for economic growth and job creation, especially in rural areas.

Before he was sworn in, Hillman resigned his job in the Senate, where he served as minority leader, and has already filed to be a candidate for treasurer in next year's elections.

Coffman, 50, a Marine reservist, announced a month ago that he had volunteered for a nine-month tour of duty doing civil affairs work, helping restore civilian services and functions in Iraq. He still has a year and a half left on his term and said he will launch a campaign for secretary of state when he returns.