Future of the Legacy Fund | VideoJessica Roose | 9/26/2012
It`s no surprise that North Dakota`s economy is in good shape. With the Legacy Fund storing away 30 percent of incoming oil revenues, the state will have a cushion, even if the oil boom slows down.
"We`re lucky to have one. Most states don`t even have the opportunity to think about putting money away at this point in time," said Governor Jack Dalrymple.
But what`s going to happen to all that money being stashed away? After 2017, the legislature will need to agree with a 2/3 vote before any of that money can be spent.
"That`s a pretty tight lockbox. It would have to be something pretty serious, I think before the legislature would vote by 2/3 to start spending the principle," Dalrymple said.
Dalrymple says it`s hard to decide how the money should be spent, without knowing what shape the state will be in, in five years.
His opponent in the upcoming Governor`s race, Ryan Taylor, says he thinks some of the money should be used on education.
"The key here is that there ought to be a legacy left after the legacy fund has had it`s day and has been filled with the revenue of this one time harvest, that we`re enjoying right now."
Taylor says some of that money should go to a Lasting Harvest initiative he proposes. Which he says would eliminate half the student loan debt students are accruing.
"In our minds, a state that has the resources North Dakota has ought not be graduating its students with $25,000 $35,000 in student loan debt."
He says part of his initiative would include funding for K through 12 facilities.
When the time comes, the state will be able to look at how other states with such funds are using the money. Alaska uses money from its fund to send checks to it`s residents.
Other states have put money to fund education programs.