The New Jersey Senate is expected today to reverse a two-year-old law that allows the state to claim the value of dormant gift cards.
Sponsor Paul Sarlo hopes the bill can be enacted before the state claims the balances as revenue.
The Assembly has approved a similar bill.
The state saw idle gift cards as an untapped revenue source to help balance the budget. But retailers sued, delaying the law.
The Office of Legislative Services estimates the state will forfeit at least $17 million beginning in 2016. But major gift card sellers such as American Express have pulled out of New Jersey rather than try to comply with the law.
The Treasury Department has not issued guidelines to retailers.