Today, 19th Judicial District Court Judge Richard Moore, III ruled in favor of Gov. John Bel Edwards and against Treasurer John Schroder in the lawsuit challenging the transfer of excess dollars from the Unclaimed Property Program to the state general fund. Judge Moore has ruled that Treasurer Schroder must immediately transfer $7.3 million in excess dollars from the fund into the state general fund for fiscal year 2019 and $25.2 million in excess unclaimed property for fiscal year 2020.
Treasurer Schroder since last year has refused to follow the law requiring him to deposit excess money from the Unclaimed Property Fund into the state general fund, arguing that this money did not belong to the state. In his ruling, Judge Moore disagreed, saying that Treasurer Schroder’s interpretation of the law "leads to absurd consequences."
“The Louisiana Legislature has appropriated excess dollars from the Unclaimed Property Program to fund critical priorities like education and health care since the program started four decades ago,” said Executive Counsel Matthew Block. “Until last year, every state treasurer has complied with the constitutional requirement to transfer these excess funds into the state general fund for appropriation by the Legislature. Treasurer Schroder's unprecedented action to withhold these funds clearly violates the law, and we are grateful for Judge Moore's decision ordering that the Treasurer transfer these funds to the state general fund. Even after the Treasurer complies with Judge Moore's order, there are more than sufficient funds available for unclaimed property claims, as the fund has always had sufficient funds for these obligations. "
Click here to read the ruling