State Treasurer Responds to School Funding

My office has received several inquiries about the impact the Supreme Court’s ruling on school funding has on the State Treasurer’s Office and the duties of the state treasurer.

Simply put, the state treasurer does not have the authority or discretion to determine what warrants he pays. Rather, the State Treasurer’s role is to pay warrants that someone else issued. This is in the statutes that define the state treasurer’s role and the statutes describing the school funding formula. State Treasurer Ron Estes

School payment vouchers are initiated by the Department of Education (under a schedule outlined by the state school board) and approved by the director of the Division of Budget. The state treasurer’s role in making payments from the state treasury is similar to that of a banker who simply makes payments based upon the depositor’s orders to pay in the form of a check.

Furthermore, our office doesn’t have the ability to intercept or cancel payments. Payments made through the state SMART system are issued by the Department of Education, approved by the Division of Budget, and verified by the Department of Administration.

It is unfortunate that the Judicial branch seems to be fighting with the Legislative and Executive branches. I personally think it is wrong for the Court to choose to threaten that public schools should be closed, especially since over 98% of the yearly budget for the school districts is in agreement and has been budgeted by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.

As a parent with kids in public schools, I’m particularly concerned. I believe my kids get a good public education.  It would be devastating to hold back kids and prevent them from getting their education.  Choosing to close schools would be a major problem for a lot of parents, especially single parents and two-income parents.

Opening our public schools on time with the money that has been appropriated, while the school funding lawsuit continues, seems to be a common sense solution for the state, for parents, and especially for our kids.

State Treasurer Reaches $100 Million Milestone in Property Returned to Kansans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 25, 2016

TOPEKA, Kan. – State Treasurer Ron Estes today announced his office has reached a record-breaking milestone of $100 million in returned unclaimed property since the beginning of his administration.State Treasurer Ron Estes

“I really enjoy being able to return to Kansans what is rightfully theirs and through streamlined processes, outreach initiatives, and media events, we’ve achieved this success,” said Kansas State Treasurer Ron Estes. “The Unclaimed Property Program is a great government service dedicated to helping Kansans by safeguarding and reuniting abandoned property with rightful owners.”

Throughout his administration, Estes has led many changes to modernize and simplify the unclaimed property process:

  • Passed a bill that allowed the Kansas Department of Revenue to share the most recent contact information of owners with the Unclaimed Property Division, which resulted in approximately 30 percent of all properties returned in this faster, more efficient method.
  • Worked with leaders in the statehouse to pass a bill making Kansas Unclaimed Property more business friendly by creating an independent appeals process for holders.
  • Made Kansas the first state in the country to receive from the U.S. Treasury the value of fully matured U.S. Savings Bonds that were found within safe deposit boxes and no longer paying interest. This amounted to more than $860,000 transferred to the Kansas State Treasurer’s Office and placed into the unclaimed property database.

“It’s a constant goal of ours to return as much property as possible to respective owners,” said Estes. “Every dollar returned is another dollar back in the pockets of Kansans and our local communities.”

Unclaimed Property LogoCurrently, the office is still safeguarding more than $301 million in unclaimed funds for approximately two million separate properties and continues to receive more each year.

“Whether they’ve searched before or not, I encourage all Kansans to visit our official website, http://www.KansasCash.com, every couple of years to check our online database for any missing property that may belong to them,” he said. “It’s a service provided free of charge and my staff would be happy to answer any questions about unclaimed property or our claim process at unclaimed@treasurer.ks.gov.”

Each year, unclaimed or abandoned assets are turned over to the Kansas State Treasurer’s Office Unclaimed Property Division by financial institutions and businesses that lose contact with owners. This property may come from forgotten bank accounts, stocks, bonds, insurance premium overpayments, refunds, abandoned safe deposit boxes and other property. The State Treasurer’s Office serves as custodian of these assets and makes every effort to return them to rightful owners or their heirs.

Ron Estes is the 39th state treasurer for the state of Kansas and is the first state-wide elected official from the city of Wichita in 20 years. He was elected to serve as the Midwest Regional Vice President for the National Association of State Treasurers 2012-2013, and now serves on the College Savings Plans Network Executive Board and the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators Executive Board. Ron has also served as Sedgwick County Treasurer and as the treasurer for the Kansas County Treasurers’ Association. He was born in Topeka and is a fifth-generation Kansan. Ron and his wife, Susan, have three children.

Savings Tip! Make a weekly “money date”

Couple Reviewing FinancesCommit to sitting down with your money once a week for a money date. During this time, update your budget, review your accounts and track your progress against your financial goals. Like any relationship, if you want your financial life to improve, you must spend time with your money. (CNBC, )

Treasurer’s Top 10: Saline County

The Treasurer’s Top 10 for Saline County is posted! Recognize any names? Please pass this along to friends and family in the area to help us reunite these ladies and gentlemen with their lost money.

  1. Dennis MarkwellMap of Saline County
  2. Lola Jones
  3. B. W. Electrical Contractors
  4. Elizabeth R. Moore & Bryce J. Loder
  5. Bessie Cederberg
  6. Laurence Ohara
  7. Laren M. Scott
  8. Harvey E. Marken Sr Est
  9. Eva C. Hutchison
  10. Premier Pneumatics Inc
  11. Janice L. Kolterman

They can visit www.KansasCash.com to search their name and make a claim or call one of our unclaimed property specialists at 785-296-4165.

Treasurer’s Top 10: Marion County

This week, we highlight Marion County! Recognize any names? Please pass this along to friends and family in the area to help us reunite these ladies and gentlemen with their lost money.Map of Marion County

  1. Ernest A Siebert & Irmgard C Siebert
  2. Charlotte A Kennedy
  3. Darryl Thiesen
  4. Dorothy H Stewart
  5. Charles W Stewart
  6. Ralph Sundin & Jean Sundin
  7. First Southern Baptist Church
  8. Frances Kottwitz
  9. Frances Householter Est
  10. Clara Schmidt Estate

They can visit www.KansasCash.com to search their name and make a claim or call one of our unclaimed property specialists at 785-296-4165.

 

 

Treasurer’s Top 10: Harvey County

This week, we highlight Harvey County! Here’s a look at the Top 10 people there with unclaimed assets. Do you know anyone below?

If so, have them check out http://ow.ly/Uuh8J  and search their name to make a claim for their lost money or property. They can also call our unclaimed property specialists at 785-296-4165.

  1. Herman Merritt & Ruth Merritt Family Trust
  2. Katherine M. ChambersMap of Harvey County
  3. James Marcellus Jones
  4. John R. Olson & Clarissa E. Olson
  5. C. R. Base
  6. Clifford Walker Estate
  7. Yoko Hayakawa
  8. Agnes M. Regier & Paul Regier
  9. Helen M. Hobbs
  10. Anna G. Goering & Beverly J. Wickstrom

 

 

 

Treasurer’s Top 10: Reno County

This week, we highlight Reno County! Here’s a look at the Top 10 people there with unclaimed assets. Do you know anyone below?

If so, have them check out http://ow.ly/Uuh8J  and search their name to make a claim for their lost money or call our unclaimed property specialists at 785-296-4165.Map of Reno County

  1. Joan Vivian Taylor
  2. Ruben Casarez Garibay Estate
  3. Fred R. Branstetter
  4. Petroglyrh Energy Inc.
  5. Eugene J. Wohletz & Joan T. Wohletz
  6. Central Coast Fcu
  7. American Staffing Inc.
  8. Marie E. Hill
  9. William E. Morris Trust
  10. C. R. Base