Listen Live

(INDIANAPOLIS) – If you’re stuck with a gift card you can’t use, a proposal passed by the Indiana House might let you get your money back.

The bill would require retailers who go out of business in Indiana to compensate you for the leftover balance on a gift card you’ve already paid for. Cicero Representative Tony J. Cook argues it’s not fair for a store to take your money, then close its doors and leave you with a useless piece of plastic.

Federal law already covers gift cards, but state law doesn’t. Cook’s bill would let the attorney general sue to get your money back under Indiana’s consumer-protection laws on deceptive sales.

If it passes, the bill would take effect July 1, and would only cover cards issued after that date.

The bill passed the House 96-1, but didn’t get a hearing in the Senate. The proposal has been added to a catchall bill making several changes to Indiana’s criminal code — the same bill includes a late House attempt to sharply restrict panhandling, effectively outlawing it in downtown Indianapolis. Negotiators will decide which proposals to keep and which to scrap.