Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/27/1996 08:42 AM House STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 HB 434 - UNCLAIMED PROPERTY                                                 
 The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs             
 Committee was HB 434.                                                         
 CHAIR JAMES announced HB 434 and HCR 25 would be heard today but HB
 354 would not be heard until Tuesday, March 5, 1996.                          
 CHAIR JAMES called on Bob Bartholomew, Department of Revenue, to              
 present HB 434.                                                               
 Number 0615                                                                   
 BOB BARTHOLOMEW, Deputy Director, Central Office, Income and Excise           
 Audit Division, Department of Revenue, said HB 434 addressed the              
 unclaimed property program.  The objective was to improve the                 
 program.  This was the first revisit of the program, he explained,            
 for both the state and the businesses it affected.  He said the               
 workload grew every year, and part of the legislation reduced the             
 workload in-order-to continue to operate the program.  He explained           
 the statutes placed the state as the custodian of unclaimed                   
 property and was in charge of finding the owner.  If the owner was            
 not found, he stated, the proceeds went to the general fund.  He              
 further said HB 434 defined a mutual fund as other property so                
 businesses could turn it over to the state as unclaimed property.             
 The bill also clarified the combined reporting requirements, and              
 unified the small property value to read $100 to reduce                       
 administrative workload and duplication.  The bill also required              
 the division to advertize one time per year saving about $20,000.             
 The bill also required fee finders to disclose the value of the               
 found property of which 90 percent was returned to the owner and 10           
 percent retained.                                                             
 MR. BARTHOLOMEW explained the amendments to HB 434 based on an                
 audit.  He explained the amendment to Section 1 clarified the                 
 language.  The amendment to Section 5 changed the publication                 
 duplication.  The amendment to Section 10 added the word "warrants"           
 for clarification.  He called the amendments technical.  He                   
 announced several insurance companies, banks and the court system             
 supported the amendments to HB 434.                                           
 Number 1150                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked Mr. Bartholomew if HB 434 affected HB
 295, allowing the municipalities to deal directly with their own              
 Number 1165                                                                   
 MR. BARTHOLOMEW replied the amount of property concerned in HB 295            
 was small and would not affect the unclaimed property program.  He            
 explained HB 295 addressed property claimed in the law enforcement            
 agencies as a result of an arrest, so it would not fall under the             
 unclaimed property program.                                                   
 CHAIR JAMES called on the first witness via teleconference in                 
 Fairbanks, Sybil Skelton.                                                     
 Number 1260                                                                   
 SYBIL SKELTON expressed her personal opinions regarding HB 434.               
 She stated she did not know if her oldest son was dead or alive and           
 alleged he would be unclaimed property and feared he would be kept            
 from her.  In conclusion, she stated she was tired of being left              
 out and treated like she did not know anything.                               
 Number 1378                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON moved to adopt Amendment 1 9-GH2025.A.                
 Hearing no objection, it was so adopted.                                      
 Number 1408                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON moved that CSHB 434(STA) move from the                
 committee with individual recommendations and attached zero fiscal            
 note.  Hearing no objection, it was so moved from the House State             
 Affairs Committee.                                                            

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