The Senate has voted to reverse a 2-year-old law that allows the state to claim the value of dormant
gift cards.

The measure, which was delayed last month so consumer protections could be added, was approved Thursday.

Sen. Paul Sarlo, the Senate sponsor, says the law needs to be revised before the Christie administration can begin to claim gift card balances as revenue.

The state saw idle gift cards as an untapped revenue source to help balance the budget.

But retailers sued, and several, like American Express, stopped selling gift cards in New Jersey.

Retail merchants who fought to reverse the 2010 law oppose this bill because it imposes a 4-year moratorium of the gift card law, but not a permanent repeal.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)