Gov. Edwards sues Treasurer Schroder over unclaimed property

LAWSUIT: Governor wants unclaimed property money for budget, Treasurer refuses

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - On Friday, Feb. 7 Governor John Bel Edwards sued Treasurer John Schroder for “being out of compliance” because of his expected refusal to turn over millions of dollars in unclaimed money.

Edwards expects Schroder will refuse to turn over dollars from the Unclaimed Property Fund to the State General Fund. Schroder objected to turning over the money last year. Edwards hopes a judge will force Schroder to turn over the money.

The Unclaimed Property Fund is built on several types of funds collected by the Louisiana Department of the Treasury, including money in old bank accounts, refund checks that haven’t been cashed, and bonds turned over by businesses.

Schroder argues the Treasury is supposed to be holding that money for safekeeping until the original taxpayer decides to claim it. He says government officials counting on that money, the amount of which fluctuates as taxpayers reclaim it, is illogical and improper since it does not belong to the state.

The larger conflict is that Schroder withholding the money puts a hole in Edwards’ proposed budget.

With a new legislature that is more conservative than ever, any disputes could defray support for Edwards among lawmakers.

To check if you have unclaimed property waiting for you, click here.

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