Senate committee moves repeal of gift card sweep law

TRENTON – A bill that would repeal a 2010 law that allows the state to claim any unspent funds of gift cards after two years is moving forward in the upper chamber.

Senate lawmakers released legislation today introduced by Sen. Paul Sarlo, (D-36), that repeals the inclusion of gift cards in the state’s unclaimed property law. The bill was released following little discussion from lawmakers, including Sarlo, who called his legislation a “no-brainer.”

Opponents of the law claim it’s just another way for the state to funnel money into the general fund in lieu of raising taxes.

The state, however, said it is not right that consumers’ unspent monies should be grabbed by the card issuers, and that such funds should reside in the hands of the state for safekeeping until a consumer claims them.

The law became a focal point of controversy when American Express announced earlier this year it would stop issuing gift cards in the state.

Senate committee moves repeal of gift card sweep law