SACRAMENTO – Assembly Bill 1637 streamlining California’s process for claiming unclaimed property passed the State Senate this week and now heads to the Governor’s desk, Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita), who co-authored the bill with Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, said Friday.
AB 1637 will streamline the property claim process and alleviates the convoluted nature of government practices regarding unclaimed property.
The bill received bipartisan, unanimous support from both chambers of the State Legislature and awaits the governor’s signature to be enacted into law.
AB 1637 works with the State Controller’s Office (SCO) to make the procedures for unclaimed property more convenient, efficient and effective for crucial institutions of the community. Existing unclaimed property law has more lengthy and complicated requirements for the return of property, with obligations of filing a claim and then SCO verification. AB 1637 allows the SCO to return property directly to local and state agencies, including schools, cities and departments that play key roles in the 38th Assembly District and the state.
In California, the SCO has more than 48 million unclaimed properties that are estimated to be worth $9.3 billion — with many unclaimed properties for local entities located in the 38th Assembly District.
“Supporting our local governmental bodies that provide so much for our area is a top priority for my legislative advocacy on behalf of constituents,” Assemblywoman Smith said. “AB 1637 helps accomplish this by streamlining the property claim process to be more accessible, strongly benefitting state and local agencies.”
“The City of Santa Clarita is pleased to support AB 1637,” Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean said in a letter of support for the bill. “This measure will allow the SCO to be more proactive and efficient in returning unclaimed property to a state or local agency. This bill is a common-sense, cost-saving proposal that will benefit both state and local agencies. ”
Smith represents California’s 38th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, Agua Dulce, Castaic, Santa Susana Knolls and North San Fernando Valley.