Unclaimed Property List Hits Your Local Newspapers
Under State law, the Office of the State Treasurer is required to publish the list of unclaimed property in newspapers across the State every three years. Over the course of the past week and this week, that list will appear as a tabloid insert in about 30 daily and weekly newspapers with broad Statewide coverage. The tabloids have also been sent to all of Mississippi’s public libraries, where library patrons can review the list as well.

My office continues to hold very successful events in partnership with other public officials across the State. In fact, our next event is scheduled for Marshall County on May 22 nd . But, look at the results from our recent events:

Town of Cary (April 3, 2018)
20 citizens served
Nearly $28,000 distributed

Jackson County (March 8, 2018)
Over 400 citizens served
Still totaling up the claims!

Lauderdale County (February 20, 2018)
255 citizens served
Nearly $420,000 distributed

Desoto County (February 15, 2018)
37 citizens served
Over $88,500 distributed

Town of Myrtle (November 15, 2017)
33 citizens served
Over $24,500 distributed

City of Pearl (November 9, 2017)
34 citizens served
Nearly $17,000 distributed

City of Winona (November 1, 2017)
51 citizens served
Nearly $17,500 distributed

That’s a total of nearly $600,000 in unclaimed property reunited with people all across the State – and once we have Jackson County totals included, it’s likely to top $1 million. It is aggressive, but cost-effective outreach like this that has helped my office distribute over $80 million in unclaimed property since I took office in January 2012. That’s more than 52% of all the money distributed since the program began in 1982.

The beauty of these events – as well as the online search engine I have on my website – is that they cost taxpayers little to nothing and clearly have big returns for the people. The newspaper publication, on the other hand, costs about $100,000 to $150,000. And, while the publication is stale and dated the moment it is printed, the search engine, the events, and other outreach we do are dynamic and reflect all current property at the very moment a citizen is searching.

The newspaper publication requirement was once a necessity for reaching people across the State. In today’s online world, there are better, less expensive ways to do it and I am hopeful the Legislature will consider updating the State Code for the future.
Financial Literacy Month in Mississippi is Official!
Financial Literacy Month in Mississippi is Official!
On Wednesday, Governor Bryant signed the official proclamation designating April 2018 as Financial Literacy Month in Mississippi. I was proud to join Selena Swartzfager, Executive Director for the Mississippi Council on Economic Education (MCEE), and members of the MCEE Board of Directors and staff at the signing ceremony. The text of the proclamation is as follows:

WHEREAS , the Mississippi Council on Economic Education is dedicated to improving the personal financial literacy of Mississippi youth by promoting the teaching of personal finance concepts using the economic way of thinking in kindergarten through twelfth grade; and

WHEREAS , it is essential that the people of Mississippi be financially literate in order to make informed and responsible decisions regarding money management, saving, investing, finance, credit, and debt; and

WHEREAS , two out of three Mississippians do not have sufficient savings to cover emergencies; and

WHEREAS, 44.2 million Americans owe $1.48 trillion in student loan debt; and

WHEREAS , over half of Mississippi college graduates in 2016 had student loan debt and that average debt was $29,384; and

WHEREAS, 39% of U.S. adults carry credit card debt month-to-month and more than 1 in 4 adults do not save anything saved for retirement; and

WHEREAS, 38% of Mississippians have no savings at all and 56% of residents have less than $1,000 saved; and

WHEREAS, acquisition of financial literacy skills by citizens will improve the quality of their lives, provide them with skills for success, contribute to positive changes in the communities in which they live and work, and benefit the economy of Mississippi; and

WHEREAS, the Treasurer’s Education About Money (TEAM) initiative is committed to providing financial education to Mississippi schools at no cost to the school through a public-private partnership powered by EverFi and the Mississippi Council on Economic Education; and

WHEREAS, 30% of 4th-12th graders in Mississippi public schools are using EverFi’s online financial literacy curriculum in over 441 Mississippi schools, which is the highest percentage of students enrolled in this curriculum of any state in the nation; and

WHEREAS , the Mississippi Council on Economic Education will host the state Financial Literacy Challenge at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi on Thursday, April 19, 2018, from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm at which the state challenge winners and the state financial literacy student of the year will be named and receive Mississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) scholarships; and

WHEREAS , it is the desire of the Mississippi Council on Economic Education to designate April as “Financial Literacy Month” raising the public’s awareness of the need for financial education not only among our youth but all Mississippians and hereby urge all citizens to participate fully in this observance; and 

NOW, THEREFORE , I, Phil Bryant, Governor of the State of Mississippi, hereby proclaim April as FINANCIAL LITERACY MONTH in the state of Mississippi.
College Savings Mississippi Art Contest Winners Honored
On April 4 th , we held a ceremony with our winning Art Contest artists. It was such a wonderful opportunity to reinforce to the students and their parents the importance of saving for education so that the students can achieve their goals for the future. Here’s another look at these talented young artists!
Office of the Mississippi State Treasurer
Post Office Box 138
Jackson, Mississippi 39205
P: 601.359.3600 / F: 601.359.2001