Relates to the publication by the state of the receipt of unclaimed funds.
Ayes (57): Adams, Addabbo, Alesi, Avella, Bonacic, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Espaillat, Farley, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Huntley, Johnson, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Libous, Little, Martins, Maziarz, McDonald, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Mara, Oppenheimer, Parker, Peralta, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Saland, Sampson, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Nays (1): Ball
Excused (3): Duane, Marcellino, Perkins
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the abandoned property law and the state technology law, in relation to unclaimed funds
PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to eliminate barriers for the visually impaired to access and obtain unclaimed funds from the state comptroller's office, and ensure that all New Yorkers are made aware that they can obtain unclaimed funds directly from the state free of charge.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends paragraph (b) subdivision 1 of section 1402 of the abandoned property law to require the state comptroller twice a year to publish via newspaper a statement of what abandoned property is held by the state. The publication would also include, in type sufficient for a visually impaired person to read, a notice that a largeprint listing of abandoned property can be obtained by writing the state comptroller's office.
Section 2 amends subdivision 1 of section 1416 of the abandoned property law to add a new paragraph (d), requiring that an agreement between an owner of unclaimed funds and an investigation agency retain a recitation to the effect that the owner understands the funds can be obtained without the help of the investigation agency.
Section 3 amends section 103 of the state technology law by adding a subdivision 18 requiring the Office of Information Technology Services to consult with the state commission on the blind and visually handicapped to develop accessibility standards for typeface and font size that would assist the visually impaired.
JUSTIFICATION: New Yorkers with visual impairments have difficulty determining whether they have unclaimed funds held by the state comptroller. Notification provisions have never been friendly to those with visual impairment. As a result, many New Yorkers learn about their unclaimed funds through solicitations from private investigators. The investigators charge a fee, typically equal to the statutory maximum of 15%, to collect the fund, usually without informing the owner of the funds that they can be collected free of charge directly from the comptroller. This legislation addresses both concerns, first by requiring notification in a visuallyimpaired friendly format, and second by requiring disclosure by private investigators of an unclaimed fund owner's rights.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal to the state.
This Act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 899--A Cal. No. 655 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance -- recommitted to the Committee on Finance in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered to first and second report, ordered to a third reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading AN ACT to amend the abandoned property law and the state technology law, in relation to unclaimed funds THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 of section 1402 of the aban- doned property law is relettered paragraph (c) and a new paragraph (b) is added to read as follows: (B) IN ADDITION TO THE LIST REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVI- SION, EACH SEPTEMBER AND MARCH, THE STATE COMPTROLLER SHALL PUBLISH IN A NEWSPAPER, AS PROVIDED BY SECTION ONE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED TEN OF THIS ARTICLE, A STATEMENT OF ABANDONED PROPERTY PAID TO AND HELD BY THE STATE, FOR THE RESPECTIVE ANNUAL PERIODS JUNE FIRST, THROUGH NOVEMBER THIRTIETH AND DECEMBER FIRST, THROUGH MAY THIRTY-FIRST. EACH AND EVERY TIME THE COMPTROLLER PUBLISHES SUCH A STATEMENT, HE OR SHE SHALL INCLUDE A NOTICE THAT READERS MAY OBTAIN A LARGE PRINT COPY OF THE UNCLAIMED FUNDS LIST BY WRITING THE COMPTROLLER'S OFFICE OR HAVE A SEARCH CONDUCTED FOR THEM BY CALLING A DESIGNATED NUMBER. THIS NOTICE MUST APPEAR IN TYPEFACE AND FONT-SIZE ESTABLISHED BY THE NEW YORK STATE OFFICE FOR TECHNOLOGY TO ASSIST THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED AND INCLUDE THE PHONE NUMBER AND MAILING ADDRESS TO THE NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER, OFFICE OF UNCLAIMED FUNDS. S 2. Subdivision 1 of section 1416 of the abandoned property law, as added by chapter 173 of the laws of 1980, is amended to read as follows:EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00678-02-2 S. 899--A 2
1. No agreement to locate property held by the comptroller pursuant to this chapter shall be valid unless that agreement: (a) is in writing and signed by the property owner; (b) discloses the nature of the property;
[and](c) discloses the name and address of the holder; AND (D) INCLUDES LANGUAGE, ESTABLISHED BY THE STATE COMPTROLLER, STATING THAT THE FUNDS HELD BY THE STATE CAN BE OBTAINED DIRECTLY FROM THE OFFICE OF THE COMPTROLLER BY ITS OWNER WITHOUT PAYING A FEE AND THAT THESE FUNDS WILL BE HELD INDEFINITELY. S 3. Section 103 of the state technology law is amended by adding a new subdivision 18 to read as follows: 18. TO CONSULT WITH THE COMMISSION ON THE BLIND AND VISUALLY HAND- ICAPPED TO DEVELOP AND MAINTAIN ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS FOR TYPEFACE AND FONT SIZE TO ASSIST THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED. S 4. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.