The state Senate has passed a measure to study investing Legacy Fund moneys in North Dakota.
A bill already making its way through the Legislature will set aside a percentage of future earnings to be invested locally. But Sen. Mark Weber (R-Casselton) told the Senate this measure is intended to take a broader view, to see if there are opportunities where Legacy Fund monies could be directly invested into start-up companies.
"Call it seed money, call it venture capital, if you will," Weber said. "There may be opportunities in high-tech, food and oil seed processing, aviation, electronics, communications -- the list goes on."
Weber said right now, only about one to two percent of the principle of the Legacy Fund is invested in-state.
"We know that, with the 'prudent investor rule,' our earnings have been invested out-of-state, which has traditionally brought us higher returns," Weber said. "This study would look at the trade-off of accepting lower investment returns, by investing in our state, to create more overall economic growth and opportunities."
The bill passed 42 to 5. It now goes to Gov. Doug Burgum’s desk.
The bill is HB 1231.