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

Archive for January, 2012

Poll Question for 1/31/2012


 

Check back tomorrow and we will fill you in on why we are asking this question!

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Treasurer’s Top 5: Crawford County


Hello! Once again, we present the Top 5 people who have unclaimed property by county. Today we spotlight Crawford County. Have you searched for your missing cash? Click here!

Crawford County

Gerald Longnecker – Prairie du Chien

Leonard Urbaniak – Prairie du Chien

Mary Redington – Eastman

Bessie Malven – Prairie du Chien

Dennis Cota – Prairie du Chien

 If you or someone you know is on this list, please let them know they need to make a claim with the office. They can also call us at 855-375-CASH

Related articles


$4 Million Plus Month for January 2012


My staff returned $4,003,873 in unclaimed property for the month of January. This is the second highest month of returns in Office history.

We have been promoting the unclaimed property unit extensively and redesigned our website making it easier to make claims and see what the office is doing daily. There have been mornings where more than 700 claims have come into the office and examiners worked fast to turn them around and return that money.

In the 13 of 20 days this month that claims examiners worked, they returned anywhere between $100,000 and $472,000. The highest return day was January 10 where the office returned $472,273.

 The increase may be attributed to a radio ad heard statewide urging people to search for unclaimed property. You can hear that radio ad by visiting our website www.wismissingmoney.com and clicking play on the new YouTube Feature right on the center of the homepage!

In 2011, claims examiners returned a record $33,641,807 in missing money and assets to more than 26,000 people and businesses. The highest monthly return occurred November 2010 when claims specialists gave back $5,185,680.

When you visit www.wismissingmoney.com, you can track the daily return rate right there on the homepage. We update “The Money Tracker” Monday thru Friday after 2PM. While visiting the revamped Treasury website, you can also see the names of the Top 20 people by county with unclaimed property held by this office.

 


AB 426 passes


Last evening, AB 426, which I testified in favor of, passed the Assembly. Below is a link to how the representatives voted:

http://ow.ly/8IHLu


Testimonies on SB 294, 295, and 296 from Yesterday


Testimony of Wisconsin State Treasurer Kurt Schuller to the Wisconsin State Senate Committee on Judiciary, Utilities, Commerce, and Government Operations Regarding SB 294

January 25, 2012 

Delivered on Behalf of the State Treasurer by Deputy State Treasurer Scott Feldt

 

            From time to time it is important to make small alterations to existing statutes in order to improve the efficiency of government as well as the services that government provides. I am grateful to Chairman Zipperer and this committee for giving me the opportunity to strongly advocate the passage of SB 294 here today.

            SB 294 establishes an administrative review process for an unclaimed property claimant whose claim is denied or not acted upon in a timely manner. Current law only provides for a claimant to bring an action in circuit court, which requires the claimant to pay for court costs even before a decision can be made. An administrative review process would establish a uniform procedure for handling complaints, would proceed in a much timelier manner, and would not result in mandatory costs or fees, thus making the process more amenable to both the Unclaimed Property Program and to the claimant.

           The Department of Justice recommended this process to the Treasurer’s Office, and I believe that the time has come to institute this reform.  

 

Testimony of Wisconsin State Treasurer Kurt Schuller to the Wisconsin State Senate Committee on Judiciary, Utilities, Commerce, and Government Operations Regarding SB 295

January 25, 2012 

Delivered on Behalf of the State Treasurer by Deputy State Treasurer Scott Feldt 

                 I would like to thank Chairman Zipperer and the members of the Judiciary, Utilities, Commerce, and Government Operations for accepting my testimony on behalf of SB 295.

                The passage of SB 295 would provide an extra layer of protection for unclaimed property owners who enter into agreements with “search firms” or unclaimed property “locators”. The bill would require that the afforementioned firms provide the Unclaimed Property Program with a copy of the fee agreement that they entered into with the unclaimed property owner at the time of the claim submission. With this information in hand, the Unclaimed Property Program can proceed to process the claim with every assurance that the property owner and the search firm have entered into a legal agreement.

SB 295 will protect our state’s unclaimed property claimants without causing search firms undue difficulty, and I encourage the members of this committee to pass this bill in order to ensure full compliance with statutory requirements.

 

Testimony of Wisconsin State Treasurer Kurt Schuller to the Wisconsin State Senate Committee on Judiciary, Utilities, Commerce, and Government Operations Regarding SB 296

January 25, 2012 

Delivered on Behalf of the State Treasurer by Deputy State Treasurer Scott Feldt

 

                   Once again, I am pleased to present testimony before Chairman Zipperer and the Committee on Judicary, Utilities, Commerce, and Government Operations regarding the amendment of the Unclaimed Property Act.

                  I am here to register my complete support to SB 296, which would grant the Unclaimed Property Administrator discretion when determing whether or not to assess penalties and interest against businesses not in compliance with current statutory requirements. Our office does not want to be forced to assess penalties on businesses who fail to report due only to innocent oversight.

                As a small agency, my office has never had sufficient staff to enforce the statute as currently written. However, due to technological advances, we are now able to make a major push to increase compliance – which we have long wished to do. By allowing the Unclaimed Property Administrator the discretion prescribed by SB 296, my office can focus on bringing Wisconsin businesses into compliance with our unclaimed property laws without causing those businesses undue economic hardship. SB 296 is a win for both the Unclaimed Property Program and Wisconsin businesses, and I encourage its passage.  

 

 

 


AB 426 passes the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economy, and Small Business


Only a few minutes ago AB 426, which I testified in favor of, passed the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economy, and Small Business. The bill’s next stop is the Assembly, where it could see a vote as early as later this week. Stay tuned for more updates.

Click here to see the testimony I submitted at the committee hearing in Hurley earlier this month.

The final vote on the bill was 9-5.


Changes to Statute 177 Getting Closer to Being a Reality


Background:

Last week I updated you on legislation that would tweak Statute 177, the Unclaimed Property Statute. Today, I would like to update you on what’s been going on with these bills “under the dome”.

Click here to read about the detail of the legislation.

Click here to read about where the legislation stood last week.

Remember, the bills were introduced in both the Assembly and the Senate in order to speed up the process of passage, hence:

SB 294=AB 417,   SB 295=AB 418,   and SB 296=AB 419

Legislative Status

AB 417 – Waiting for a hearing in the Assembly Committee on Judiciary and Ethics – could happen in the next 2 weeks.

AB 418 – Had hearing in the Assembly Committee on Homeland Security and State Affairs on 1/18/12 (see Treasurer’s testimony). Waiting to be voted on in executive session, which may be scheduled soon.

AB 419 – Had hearing in the Assembly Committee on Homeland Security and State Affairs on 1/18/12  (see Treasurer’s testimony). Waiting to be voted on in executive session, which may be scheduled soon. SBs 294, 295, and 296 – Will have a hearing tomorrow in the Senate Committee on  

SBs 294, 295, and 296 – Will have a hearing in the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Utilities, Commerce, and Government Operations tomorrow at 1 P.M. Deputy State Treasurer Scott Feldt will be delivering my testimony before the committee.