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Wardner: We're looking at a 'bucket' system for Legacy Fund interest


North Dakota Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson) said there could likely be a proposal to define what the interest earnings on the state’s Legacy Fund can be used for.

This is the first biennium where the earnings from the fund flow into the state’s general fund. Wardner said the idea is to create another system of “buckets,” similar to those created for oil tax revenue.

We think there are certain things that have higher priorities than others," Wardner said. "If we did that, it would lock up money into certain areas, rather than put it in the general fund."

Wardner said this would help the Legislature stay focused on needs.

"If it gets into the general fund, who knows?" Wardner said.

Wardner said one of the “buckets” will likely be one-time-spending items, instead of on-going spending.

"For example, highways," Wardner said. "If it's there, you spend it on highways and bridges. If it's not there, it doesn't put the general fund under the gun."

Wardner said some legislators may be tired of a “bucket” system – but he says it works.

Wardner also said it would be introduced as an amendment to a tax bill or a spending bill.

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