March 9, 2016
State Treasurer Ken Miller comes out strongly against a move which favors life insurance companies over consumers. Senate Bill 298 by Senator Marty Quinn and Rep. Glen Mulready is being held up by House Appropriations and Budget Committee Chairman Earl Sears. Miller praises Sears for doing so.
Miller has been against efforts like this over the past three legislative sessions. It eases the requirements for insurance companies to find beneficiaries who are unaware of benefits they are owed. Currently, if the insurance companies cannot find the beneficiaries they must turn the money and benefits over to the state’s unclaimed property program. Mulready and Quinn are trying to gather support to pressure Sears into holding a hearing on SB 298.
Miller doesn’t mince words.
“I called this bill shameful last year, and it still is because it tries to rob widows and children on a technicality,” Miller said. “This legislation is not just words written on a piece of paper; it affects real people who have already suffered the loss of a loved one and in many cases are in financial need. This is no longer just about policy or politics; it has become personal because I’ve seen lives changed due to our efforts on their behalf.”
He contends SB 298 strips the beneficiaries of protections that the unclaimed property program protects.
“The true intent of the bill is to provide a huge windfall to out-of-state insurance companies at the expense of Oklahoma families who are owed death benefits,” Miller said. “Chairman Sears sees through the shenanigans and we have every confidence the he will continue to do the right thing for Oklahomans.”