North Dakota’s Legacy Fund has been called the “people’s fund.” It’s filled with our tax dollars — over 8 billion dollars’ worth.
But those tax dollars are flowing into investments out of North Dakota and out of our country.
It is governed by North Dakota’s State Investment Board, or SIB…and advised by consultant firm Callan…which has no offices in North Dakota. Through monthly taxes on the state’s oil production and returns on investments, the legacy fund has been growing for over 11 years.
And taxpayers are weighing in. In a statewide survey conducted by WPA Intelligence, a leading national research firm, taxpayers, by a 10 to 1 margin, want a greater portion of the legacy fund invested in North Dakota.
And by an 8 to 1 margin, they want North Dakota advisors to decide how to invest the money – not out-of-state or Wall Street consultants.
Overwhelming support by the legislature for a bill aimed at reinvesting in the state shows that most lawmakers agree North Dakota would be better served if more legacy fund monies were put to use in our own state for such things as economic development.
KX News anchor Josh Meny has been investigating for the last 5 months, attempting to shed light on the power struggle that’s ensued over the Legacy Fund.
In Part 1, Josh investigated the events leading up to the passage of House Bill 1425 during the 2020 North Dakota Legislative Session. Fargo attorney Luke Heck filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that revealed foreign investments spanning 89 countries. 37 different Chinese investments alone, most of which are linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The volume and scope of the foreign investments pushed the legislature to pass House Bill 1425, a bill that would initially invest 10% of the Legacy Fund into equity projects that would help with economic diversification in the state.
Coming up tonight on KX News at 10, for Part 2, Josh investigates whether the State Investment Board got out of some of the controversial foreign investments that led to popular support for HB 1425. Josh also digs into the ongoing power struggle behind the application process to access Legacy Fund dollars. Amending the application process will be a focus during the Special Session starting tomorrow Monday, November 8th.