Representative Terry Katsma (R-Oostburg) presented the StudyCommittee on the Investment and Use of the School Trust Funds’ final report and recommendations to the full Joint Legislative Council Committee this morning. He told Committee members that he was “somewhat disappointed that we weren’t able to increase the returns” for the Common School Fund.
The Legislative Council Committee voted unanimously to introduce the two draft bills authored by the Study Committee, which will now be given bill numbers and move through the typical legislative process. They are:
1 LRB 0438-1, which increases the length of terms that banks can make loans to municipalities from 10 years to 20 years.
2 LRB 0848-2, which gives SWIB the ability to invest Common School Fund dollars in the same manner as BCPL in the event that BCPL chooses to delegate some investment authority to SWIB.
Representative Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) said she noticed in the final report that there were a couple of items that the Committee couldn’t come to consensus on and asked if they had any recommendations related to those topics. Representative Katsma told her that BCPL is already using some new investment strategies, like putting funds into a smoothing account, and that the Study Committee wanted to see how that develops.
The full recommendation by the Study Committee reads as follows. The Study Committee on the Investment and Use of the School Trust Funds:
• Appreciates the importance of the school trust funds to fund beneficiaries.
• Supports the goal of ensuring intergenerational equity through increasing the returns on the funds.
• Recognizes the value of recent legislative changes relating to the investment of the funds.
• Acknowledges that implementation of these changes is ongoing.
• Recommends that the Legislature further study issues relating to the investment of the funds, in consultation with beneficiary groups, once information on the results of the changes becomes available for study.