Another Legislative Victory
For those of you following the bills that would update Statute 177, the Unclaimed Property Statute, Tuesday was a very good day. AB 419 passed the full Assembly 94-0, making it the 2nd bill to pass the full Assembly. Below is a summary of where each piece of legislation stands.
AB 417 - Scheduled for Executive Session in Assembly Committee on Judiciary and Ethics – March 1.
AB 418 – Passed by the Assembly Committee on Homeland Security and State Affairs and the full Assembly.
AB 419 – Passed by the Assembly Committee on Homeland Security and State Affairs and the full Assembly.
The 3 companion bills (SBs 294, 295, and 296) are awaiting an Executive Committee hearing in the Senate Committee on Judicary, Utilities, Commerce, and Government Operations.
What would these bills do?
AB 417/SB 294 establishes a uniform review process in the event that an unclaimed property claimant disagrees with the administrator’s decision regarding the status of a claim.
AB 418/SB 295 requires heirfinders to submit a copy of their agreement with the unclaimed property owner to the Unclaimed Property Program for purposes of legal verification.
AB 419/SB 296 allows the Unclaimed Property Administrator to assess a 12% interest penalty on unclaimed property holders who willfully neglect to turn over unclaimed property to my office. The statute used to require the administrator to assess an 18% interest penalty. The added discretion this statute gives to the Unclaimed Property Administrator will allow my office to increase compliance with holder reporting laws through education, without penalizing businesses who found themselves in violation through ignorance of the law.