ND Insurance Commissioner proposes investing Legacy Fund dollars in North Dakota

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 5:25 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - North Dakota invests $7 billion in Legacy Fund money, mostly outside of the state. For example, the state owns a portion of a veterinary clinic in the UK.

Now, Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread is looking to take about $350 million, about 5%, and invest it here.

Godfread says the State Investment Board should put together a North Dakota Investment Advisory Board to recommend investment opportunities within the state.

He says putting money back into our economy would help jump-start it and help diversify it.

He also says the fund would grow at the same rate as it does when the state invests elsewhere.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of people in North Dakota who kind of assumed that some of these investments were happening in our state and we’re using these legacy fund dollars to do that for the benefit of our state,” said Godfread. “I think they’d be kind of surprised to come to find out that it’s not available right now for us to do that. We’ve been, you know, frankly unwilling to, I think, turn on the spigot here for North Dakota.”

The IAB would include the lieutenant governor, insurance commissioner, state treasurer and Bank of North Dakota president.

While that proposal is on the table, board members say the state will expand its In-State Investing Commitment program with 100 million in legacy fund dollars.

That money will be used to help secure loans from the Bank of North Dakota for companies developing new businesses or infrastructure.

This differs from the investment proposal, because it’s money used for guaranteed loans, as opposed to more risky investments.

Bank of North Dakota leaders say the commitment will now total $400 million.

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