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California is Using Unclaimed Money to Fix Deficit

The unclaimed money vault in the state of California is growing rapidly, and is currently one of the richest state treasuries in the U.S. State officials are taking all the practical steps to reduce this unclaimed pile.

More than 9,000 memos are sent every week to the possible owners of the unclaimed funds so that they can take the necessary steps to claim their money. Like other states, California is also taking a suit of practical measures to reduce this deficit but not with a lot of success.

The impact of economic slowdown can be felt on California. This is reflected in the large deficit in the state budget. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been trying to pass legislation aimed at utilizing the unclaimed money pile to tackle the problem of State budget deficit.

On a national level, National Conference of State Legislatures have expressed concern that the state budget deficits are expected to exceed $55.5 billion for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, and California, because of its size is coping with the highest budget deficits in the country.

In the previous year, the annual budget deficit for California was about $6 billion, and this figure is expected to go above the $20 billion mark this fiscal year. The state governor is making a case whether the $5.7 billion unclaimed funds can be utilized towards repairing the state budget deficit.
In his “May Budget Revise”, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger took the first step and established guidelines for the state legislature to deal with the state’s budget deficit so that adequate budget planning can be made prior to the start of the next fiscal year on July 1. One of the options that have been proposed in this legislation is the authority to utilize the unclaimed funds towards state welfare programs.

This is in addition to the proposed cut in the welfare programs, unemployment benefits and Food Stamp Programs until the state budget gets into a good shape. Most of the decision makers and bureaucrats who are at the helm of the unclaimed funds program are supporting Governor Schwarzenegger as even after so many repeated attempts and various missing money programs, the actual owners have still not been traced.

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