Official: Unclaimed property wouldn’t close budget shortfall

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration says liquidating an investment fund tied to Kansas’ unclaimed property would only provide $40 million to $50 million to help decrease the state’s $350 million budget shortfall.

A 2000 law change directed the state to invest an amount equal to the unclaimed property it receives each year.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that state budget director Shawn Sullivan’s conclusion echoes Treasurer Ron Estes’ explanation that only a fraction of the fund’s $360 million value could be used to shrink the budget deficit. Sullivan says the project amount is interest that wouldn’t be a part of the state general fund.

Sullivan didn’t say if liquidating the fund would be part of the governor’s proposal to close the gap, but acknowledged that officials have recently been seeking information.