Today, the Office of the Governor filed suit against Treasurer John Schroder, who has refused to transfer appropriated dollars from the Unclaimed Property Fund to the State General Fund, in compliance with the state’s approved budget.
The Governor’s Executive Counsel, Matthew Block, issued the following statement:
“It is unfortunate the Governor’s Office was forced to take legal action against the Treasurer to compel him to comply with the state’s approved budget, which includes the transfer of unused, excess dollars from the Unclaimed Property Fund to the State General Fund and to pay the bond obligations for I-49 transportation projects. The excess money from the Unclaimed Property Fund was appropriated by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor in HB 105. So far, the Treasurer has simply refused to transfer the money, completely flouting the will of the people’s elected representatives, their Governor and the letter of the law.”
“The law is clear: excess revenues in the Unclaimed Property Fund are to benefit the public. At the end of 2019, the Unclaimed Property Fund hit a peak balance of more than $78 million, leaving a healthy balance for the Treasurer to administer the Unclaimed Property Fund, even after the required transfer of funds. The public does not benefit from the Treasurer simply seeking to grow the size of his government bank account; instead, those funds should be used for roads and bridges, education, and health care. If the Treasurer wants to keep this money, he should ask the Legislature to pass a law for him to do so. With regard to the Treasurer’s argument that these funds will be claimed by its owners, the state has always paid claims to the fund and that will not change.”
To view the lawsuit, click here.