Wednesday, February 7, 2018

BCPL Votes 2-1 to Oppose SB 713

The Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) met Tuesday afternoon and formally voted 2-1 to oppose Senate Bill 713/Assembly Bill 857. State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk voted against the motion to oppose the bill.

During discussion on the bill and motion to oppose, BCPL Chair Attorney General Brad Schimel said that he did not think the bill was a good idea and that, from his understanding of the Legislative Fiscal Bureau analysis, SWIB would not be able to do any better than BCPL.

“I would not want us, our Commission, to be characterized as acquiescing…as thinking that this doesn’t…that this is harmless,” said Schimel.  

“These pieces of legislation are a disaster. They basically destroy—and I want this on the record—they would destroy the School Trust Fund program, which has operated for over 100 and some years very effectively,” said Secretary of State Doug La Follette.

Adamczyk said that he didn’t think the bill would pass this session, but that he supports the concept. He again argued that SWIB would do a much better job of managing the trust fund dollars.

The Board also voted 2-0 (with State Treasurer Adamczyk abstaining) to oppose a provision in Assembly Bill 773 and Senate Bill 645 that would prohibit the Department of Revenue from conducting third-party contingency fee audits of the unclaimed property program. The Department of Revenue (DOR) has issued a fiscal estimate on this bill, which indicates that if passed, it would reduce unclaimed property transfers to the Common School Fund by $1.7 million in fiscal year 2018.

The Board voted to narrowly oppose the specific provision of the bill related to unclaimed property.

BCPL Executive Secretary Jonathan Barry said that it “would be unfortunate if this provision were adopted.”

“If this passes, either the way it’s originally proposed or as amended, it’s going to leave a lot of money on the table that doesn’t go to the trust fund,” said Schimel.

You can listen to the full debate here.

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