NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — State Rep. Julie Casimiro (D-D31 North Kingstown/Exeter) was honored by General Treasurer Seth Magaziner in a virtual ceremony on Dec. 16 with a Distinguished Service Award for her work to improve the state’s unclaimed property program.
“I am honored and humbled that General Treasurer Seth Magaziner selected me for this award,” Casimiro said. “It truly is an honor.”
In particular, the award was given for her sponsoring of legislation in 2017, 2017-H 5743, which created more efficient communications between state agencies to make it easier for the state Treasury to return unclaimed property to Rhode Islanders. This legislation led to the creation of the “YOUR MONEY” program, which matches unclaimed money and property to known addresses so they can be automatically returned to their rightful owners.
“The unclaimed property program was always a cumbersome process until 2017,” Casimiro said. “The legislation I put in, working with the General Treasurer, allowed state systems to match up data to return property to rightful owners in a much more efficient manner. As a result, millions have been returned to Rhode Islanders.”
The program, which has launched its own website, FindRIMoney.com, allows users to search their own names and see if they are owed any money or property from the state, which Casimiro says many may not even realize they’re owed.
“FindRIMoney.com is easy to use and processing unclaimed property is easier than ever before,” Casimiro said, adding that she even found her own unclaimed money using the site. “During an event in North Kingstown, I was able to return $22,000 to a resident.”
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Casimiro says, she has often found herself on the site searching the names of family members and constituents hoping to return money to them, something she says is particularly important in uncertain times such as these.
“My hope for the program is to return as much unclaimed property as possible as quickly as possible, especially during financially uncertain times,” Casimiro said.
Overall, Casimiro is proud of the initiative and the success it has had for all Rhode Islanders who’ve been owed money or property by the state, and the progress it has made in returning said money and property.
“When we first started this initiative, there were more than 300,000 Rhode Islanders with unclaimed property held by the state, and most didn’t even realize it. And now, this is a state-of-the-art program that has received national attention for its effectiveness,” Casimiro said. “I thank Treasurer Magaziner for this tremendous honor, as well as his partnership and support for this important program.”
To search the website, visit FindRIMoney.com.