State level politicians normally make their way to small town America to campaign, not to present unclaimed property checks.
On Tuesday, April 13, Kansas State Treasurer Lynn Rogers presented an unclaimed property check to Pittsburg State University during a ceremony at Russ Hall. The check amounted to $1,480 and represented small items accumulated over time. These small dollar items were identified via the state’s unclaimed property system handled by the Kansas State Treasurer’s office.
“It’s my job as Treasurer to reunite people with what is rightfully theirs and this is a great opportunity to raise awareness for Kansans in Pittsburg and the surrounding areas,” Rogers said. “It’s a small amount. It’s not a huge amount, but we think it’s better in your checking account than ours.”
According to Rogers, there are approximately 33 million people in the United States who have unclaimed property through their state’s Treasurer’s office. In Kansas, this unclaimed property is more than 400 million.
“Each year, Kansas businesses send the names of people with bank accounts, wages, stocks, and dividends that have been abandoned,” Rogers said. “You or someone you know likely has money waiting to be collected.”
Unclaimed property through the State Treasurer’s Office encompasses monetary accounts or items of strong value that the original owner hasn’t had any activity with it in a considerable amount of time. These could be things like bank accounts, unpaid wage checks, state unemployment or Social Security benefits. Rogers wanted to make students, faculty, staff, and community members in Pittsburg and other surrounding communities aware of these unclaimed properties.
“We’re over a year into a pandemic that has taken a financial toll on many Kansans,” Rogers said. “Unclaimed property is money that can go toward paying for another tank of gas, a bill, or some groceries. Sometimes, the property is worth a lot of money and can change a person’s life. There aren’t any catches or loopholes. We simply want to deliver good news to people that will improve their lives and help stimulate local economies.”
Rogers also visited Pittsburg High School where he met with Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) students. JAG is a program to help prepare students for life after high school graduation, whether that be a university education or going into the work force.
Rogers was the lieutenant governor of Kansas under Laura Kelly before being appointed to the position after Jake LaTurner was elected to the United States House of Representatives.
“Tomorrow marks our one-hundredth day in office,” Rogers said. “We’ve returned over $5.5 million of unclaimed property. We’ve a number of big tasks for the legislature, the city utility program, the economic recovery loan program. Both will get implemented sooner rather than later, so we’ve been very, very busy.”