CHA News Article

LAO Recommends Performance Goals for Reuniting Unclaimed Property With Owners

California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) has issued a new report on the state’s unclaimed property law. California law has long required hospitals to transfer to the State Controller’s Office (SCO) personal property considered abandoned by owners. The SCO has made important strides in reuniting this “unclaimed property” with owners, but faces budgetary and statutory constraints in reuniting even more such property. Since the 1950s, the state has accumulated more than $7 billion in unclaimed property belonging to individuals, businesses and local governments. Because hospitals spend significant time and resources transferring property to the state, it is important that the state be held accountable for reuniting more property with owners.

Property not reunited with owners becomes state General Fund revenue, so the unclaimed property law creates an incentive for the state to reunite less property with owners. In the report, the LAO recommends performance measures, or targets, for the unclaimed property program, placing a greater emphasis on reuniting more property with owners. The report provides 19 options for meeting that goal.

To view the full report, a companion video and accompanying infographic, visit