BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — An attempt to separate the state treasurer’s unclaimed property fund into a constitutional trust fund passed the state House 96-2 earlier today. It now moves to the Senate for consideration.
House Bill 445 is the latest move in an ongoing feud between Gov. John Bel Edwards and State Treasurer John Schroder over how the money should be used before it is claimed. Edwards has favored adding the money to the state’s General Fund and even sued Schroder’s office for not doing so back in February. Schroder argues that the money should be kept separate until taxpayers claim it.
HB 445 would put the money in a trust fund, which Schroder said could generate $40 million in investment earnings within 20 years.
“Unclaimed Property isn’t the government’s money. It belongs to people and businesses,” said Schroder in a press release. “They should be able to claim it at any time. We’re constantly coming up with new ways to return more money. But we can’t return it if it’s not protected.”
Each year businesses turn over millions of dollars in unclaimed cash, stocks, bonds, securities, and insurance proceeds to the State Treasurer’s Office.
Known as “Unclaimed Property,” these funds include payroll checks, old bank accounts, royalties, utility deposits, interest payments, stock certificates, and life insurance proceeds. One in six individuals in Louisiana has Unclaimed Property, with refunds averaging $900.00.
To search for Unclaimed Property, visit www.latreasury.com.