OUR TURN: Unclaimed money

Our Turn (Source: WAFB)
Our Turn (Source: WAFB)
Updated: Mar. 19, 2019 at 10:59 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana lawmakers have been spending money that doesn’t belong to them.

It’s money that was supposed to be in the state’s unclaimed property fund and usually comes from forgotten tax refunds, or money left over from various sources. It belongs to you, not them.

Often times people do not even realized they are owed the money.

The state’s treasurer sounded the alarm on the practice of lawmakers spending the money saying between $30 and $40 million in unclaimed money has been kicked into the state’s general fund for spending each year.

State Treasurer John Schroder says it’s been happening for what he called “a long time,” and he says “few people, if any, were aware it was happening.”

Over the years, the state has called on citizens to claim what’s owed to them but recently almost didn’t have the money needed to pay up when people came calling.

Plain and simple, the state was supposed to hold this money for safekeeping and didn’t. We applaud State Treasurer John Schroder for bringing this to light and his efforts to safeguard against raiding the fund.

In fact, we’ve learned that several efforts will be made at the upcoming session to change the way the state handles other people’s money, including one where smaller communities might be able to benefit off of the interest made while holding the funds.

If the new plans do pass at the session, we would need to make a change to the state’s constitution which means you would get the ultimate say at the ballot box.

That’s our turn, what’s yours? To comment on this segment or anything else, send us an email to or on our WAFB Facebook page.

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