POMPTON PLAINS - A proposed state law would allow New Jersey to seize unused gift-card balances from merchants on cards that were purchased two years ago or more.

The money would be used to raise funds for cash-strapped New Jersey. The state says shoppers who have old gift cards would not lose out, because they could still redeem their gift cards by filing with the state under the "Uniform Unclaimed Property Act."

The gift-card law was supposed to go into effect this past November, but the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association and other trade groups filed lawsuits blocking it.