The happenings "inside" the Wisconsin State Treasury and across the street at the State Capitol

Archive for August, 2011

Missing Money in Marshfield!


Today marks the beginning of the Central Wisconsin State Fair, my office’s last fair of the season. After having success locating unclaimed property owners at the Central Wisconsin State Fair, the Outagamie County Fair, the State Fair, and the Brown County Fair, we intend to close out the season by giving a way lots of money in Marshfield!

A staffer from my office will be at the fair today – Monday, and I’ll be there Thursday-Saturday. Our booth is located in Expo building 2, right off the Midway.

See you at the fair!


Show Me The Money!


Good Morning America has a very popular segment called “Show Me The Money” where they help people claim cash they never knew about.

We’ve posted two new videos to our YouTube page of segments from this week! Watch them and remember all you need to do is spend 10 minutes at www.statetreasury.wisconsin.gov and search for your name, your family members, your friends!

Show Me The Money #1

Show Me The Money #2


Search for Missing Savings Bonds Online


Do you remember your parents talking about US Savings Bonds Grandma and Grandpa got you but no one could ever find? Did you buy Savings Bonds for the kids but maybe left them in a safe deposit box that you may no longer own?

Chances are the Wisconsin State Treasury is holding those missing bonds and we’ve made it easier to search for those bonds and claim them!

We are holding more than $350,000 (face value) in savings bonds – all types of US Bonds: Series E, EE, H and I as well as War Bonds, Patriot Bonds, Postal Savings Bonds. We even have bonds from China and Israel. There are more than 3,000 bonds in our vault waiting to be claimed by the rightful owners. Many of these bonds are well past the mature date, meaning you are missing out on your money!

Advertising poster for World War I Liberty Bonds

Image via Wikipedia

When you head to www.statetreasury.wisconsin.gov and click on the magnifying glass on the front page you’ll be taken to our main database page. If you look on the left column, you’ll see another link called “US SAVINGS BONDS”. Click that and begin your search!

The bonds are held by the Wisconsin State Treasury as part of a safe deposit box where the owner did not pay the annual rental fee and the box was drilled open by the bank. The State Unclaimed Property law requires financial institutions to turn the contents of the box over to the State Treasury after 5 years of no contact with the owner. We hold those bonds until the rightful owner or their heirs claim them.


Treasurer’s Testimony on AJR 26 on Youtube


Check out our YouTube Channel!

www.youtube.com/user/TheWIStateTreasury?feature=mhee

 

 

 

 

 


Testimony to Committee of Judiciary and Ethics on AJR 26: Elimination of My Office and Sec. of State


I had the honor of testifying before the Committee of Judiciary and Ethics this morning on my resolution to amend the Wisconsin Constitution and eliminate my office as well as that of Secretary of State. Below is my official testimony. I also added my own, personal comments after this statement. They will be on our YouTube Page http://www.youtube.com/user/TheWIStateTreasury later this afternoon.

Testimony of Wisconsin State Treasurer Kurt Schuller before the Wisconsin State

Assembly, Committee of Judiciary and Ethics

Regarding Assembly Joint Resolution 26 (LRB-1544)

August 18, 2011

Introduction

 

Chairman Ott, Vice-Chairman Larson, members of the Committee, thank you for allowing me to provide testimony regarding AJR 26, a constitutional amendment which I, as State Treasurer, had drafted earlier this year. As a traditional conservative, I have a great deal of respect for our state’s constitution, and for its lengthy amendment process. Our three step amendment process, as laid out in Article XII, safeguards our constitution against flippancy, while giving the people ofWisconsinthe tools they need to reform government in the face of a changing world.

 

It is a full appreciation for the amendment process that compels me to offer support for AJR 26 at this time. The elimination of the offices of the State Treasurer and Secretary of State is a necessary reform whose time has come. These offices no longer serve the same function that they once did, and the programs under their purview, while efficiently run, are not given the tools necessary to thrive.

 

The elimination of the offices of the State Treasurer and Secretary of State is necessary for four reasons, which I will detail momentarily. In short, they are as follows:

1.)    The duties of the State Treasurer and Secretary of State are administrative in nature, and need not be supervised by elected political partisans.

2.)  Dedication to government efficiency demands that we transfer programs to agencies for which they are a good functional fit.

3.)  The cost savings associated with the elimination of the offices, while not massive, do exist. As stewards of the people’s money, it is our responsibility to act in as efficient a manner as possible.

4.)  The elimination of these offices has the widespread, bi-partisan support of a majority of Wisconsinites.

Nature of the Programs

Great Seal of the state of Wisconsin

Image via Wikipedia

 

            The programs administered by the offices of the State Treasurer and Secretary of State are administrative in function. The State Treasurer oversees the unclaimed property program, which seeks to unite Wisconsinites with misplaced funds. The Secretary of State maintains the acts of the Governor and Legislature, keeps and affixes the Great Seal of Wisconsin, and provides authentications and apostilles for documents. These duties do not necessitate an elected official’s oversight, and requiring such insures a system of redundancies.

 

Functional Fit

 

Respect for governmental efficiency dictates that programs be placed in agencies that have a similar range of operation. The recent removal of authority over notaries public and trademarks from the Secretary of State’s Office, and their subsequent placement with the Department of Financial Institutions is an example of the kind of logical transfer to which I am referring. Disbursement of programs from the offices of the Treasurer and Secretary of State to appropriate governmental agencies will enhance the receiving entities and allow for more efficient management.

 

Cost Savings

 

            Passage and enactment of AJR 26 would create cost savings by eliminating the redundant elected positions, in addition to allowing the programs’ new agencies to further streamline operations. Though some may argue that these savings are minimal, I believe that it is an important step toward creating a more responsible and efficient government.

 

Broad Support

 

Figures from across the political spectrum have shown support for the passage of AJR 26. The bill has co-sponsors from both parties, and in addition to being a central part of my platform in last fall’s election, the idea of eliminating the offices of the State Treasurer and Secretary of State was a much publicized element of Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett’s gubernatorial campaign. In this time of need for the state, it is important for Republicans and Democrats to pursue areas of government efficiency and the fiscal health of our state, and success is more likely if work is begun from a point of common ground.

 

Conclusion

 

            Thank you for the opportunity to discuss my support for AJR 26. As someone who fervently believes in good government, I think that it is critical that this amendment pass the legislature and end up in front of the people. Passing the amendment this session is the first step in that process.


Committee Will Hear From State Treasurer on Elimination of Office


I will appear before the Committee on Judiciary and Ethics Thursday August 18th to offer testimony on AJR 26, the legislation I drafted that would eliminate the Office of State Treasurer and Secretary of State’s Office from the Wisconsin Constitution.

I ran for the Office of State Treasurer on the pledge to work to eliminate his position as well as that of Secretary of State. Immediately after beginning my term, I began working on the resolution to change the Wisconsin Constitution.

Changing the constitution is not an easy task. After the committee hearing, should they forward AJR 26 to the legislature, it will require votes from both houses in this session. If passed, legislators would have to vote on it again, in the same form with no changes, in the next session. If passed again, it would be placed on a statewide referendum allowing state voters the final decision. The earliest that could happen would be 2013.

Following my testimony, the transcript will be placed here on this blog and will be made available to the media.

 

State Treasurer Schuller Testimony on AJR 26

Committee on Judiciary and Ethics

State Capitol

417 North

11:00am


More $$$ Than She Realized!


The Pewaukee woman who came to the State Fair and claimed $65,000 will be getting a check for nearly double that. While processing her claim, an Unclaimed Property Examiner, using the woman’s social security number, found nearly $60,000 more for her under her maiden name!
So, she knows she’s getting $65,000 – but will actually get a check for a little more than $120,000!
It pays to come to the State Fair and look for unclaimed property!