Wardner: We'll need the earnings from the Legacy Fund in the 2019-2021 biennium

Jan 25, 2018

Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson).
Credit ND Legislature

Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson) said he agrees with Gov. Doug Burgum that there could be other uses for the earnings from the state’s Legacy fund.

But Wardner said that will likely have to happen down-the road, and not immediately.

In his "State of the State" address, Burgum said he wants to see the earnings from the now $4.1 billion Legacy Fund to go toward innovations in government.

The 2017 Legislature used the earnings from the fund to help balance the budget. Wardner said the 2019 Legislature will probably need to use those4 funds again.

"That will help us get through these times, when resources are kinda scarce,"  Wardner said.

Under law, the fund’s earnings go into the state’s general fund.

Wardner said other trust funds – like the Common Schools Trust Fund – will also likely be accessed in 2019. He said the Common Schools Fund will likely be tapped to put more money into K-12 education.

"The projection is, we're going to have more students in the next biennium," Wardner said. "We'll have to fund those students."

Burgum also said he would not support tapping into the principal of the Legacy Fund. Wardner said he also agrees with that.