Gift cards are enormously popular but they're not always fully used. One state lawmaker wants the left-overs to go to the state.

If it's true that 19% of all gift cards sold are never fully used before they're lost or expire, then Democrat representative Fred Kessler of Milwaukee says there's about 20-million wasted dollars the state could use.

Kessler feels if a consumer fails to use the entire amount on the gift card that money shouldn't just go to the retailer free and clear.

 Asked how he would respond to the merchants lobby that's bound to say it's the store's money. The cards are bought and paid for by a customer. But Kessler says it's not really the store's money if the customer didn't use it.

So, Kessler will introduce a bill that would require stores to pay the state 80% of unused gift card purchases once the card expires. The  stores could keep 20% to cover costs.

AUDIO: Jim Dick reports ( 1:24 MP3 )

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