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UPPO Advocacy Update: January 2020

Posted By Administration, Thursday, January 30, 2020

To help members remain aware of UPPO’s advocacy activities, the Unclaimed Property Focus blog presents the recurring Advocacy Update when legislatures are active or significant advocacy activity has occurred. Following are recent activities and trends from UPPO’s Government Relations and Advocacy Committee (GRAC).

 

Legislation and Regulation

Many states’ new legislative sessions reconvened less than a month ago, and 2020 is already shaping up to be an extremely busy year for unclaimed property legislation. 

 

Introduced in April 2019 and passed by the House in May 2019, Vermont H.550 – RUUPA-inspired legislation – is now under consideration by the state Senate. The Government Operations Committee is holding hearings about the bill. GRAC identified some concerns with the legislation and submitted comments to the state. 

 

Wisconsin has begun holding hearings regarding A.B. 752, and Oklahoma scheduled the first reading of H.B. 3714 for early February. Both bills are RUUPA-inspired legislation, although OK H.B. 3714 is still just a pre-file bill with no text available yet.  

 

Unclaimed property legislation is under consideration in Washington, with two separate RUUPA-inspired bills on the move. Stalled since last February, H.B. 1179S has been reintroduced. In addition, H.B. 2234 received its first reading and was referred to the Finance Committee. 

 

In Minnesota, UPPO continues participating in the work group convened by the state ULC commissioners to explore a RUUPA bill. Representatives from the Commerce Department, the unclaimed property administrator and industry stakeholders, are discussing the ramifications of potential unclaimed property legislation before it is introduced. UPPO appreciates Minnesota taking this proactive approach and appreciates the opportunity to participate in these meetings.  

 

Utah has published proposed rules clarifying when tax deferred accounts are reportable, elaborating on safe deposit box reporting processes and adding clarity about which ACH activity indicates owner interest, among other amendments. GRAC submitted comments and subsequently had a call with state administrator Dennis Johnston. He welcomed UPPO’s input and collaboration as they continue to fine-tune the regulations. The state plans to publish revised rules for another round of comments. 

 

Litigation

Unclaimed property litigation is also heating up early in 2020. Taking on similar issues addressed in the Univar case, additional lawsuits have been filed against Delaware by AT&T Capital Services, Eaton Corporation, Fruit of the Loom and Siemens USA Holdings. These lawsuits take aim at the state’s audit practices, including over-reaching data requests, estimation and the use of auditors under a contingent fee structure. 

 

As more and more legislatures and regulatory agencies take on issues affecting unclaimed property compliance, advocacy has become an increasingly important role for UPPO.

Please take a few minutes to complete our 
Government Relations and Advocacy Survey to help us build our grassroots network. Responses will give us the ability to mobilize UPPO members when we are faced with legislative and regulatory challenges and opportunities.

Tags:  Advocacy 

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