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Eye On Boise

Land Board convenes in state Capitol

The state Land Board has convened in the Idaho Capitol Auditorium this morning, with agenda items including addressing the issue of the "split estate" - the situation in which the state owns lakefront cabin sites, but private owners own the cabins they build and use on them. So far, state Endowment Fund manager Larry Johnson has given an update on endowment fund earnings. "November was a month in which the fund essentially broke even," Johnson told the board, though December so far is up 3 percent. Through November, earnings for the fiscal year on endowment investment funds were at 13.5 percent, but now, as of yesterday, they're at roughly 17 percent, Johnson said.

Johnson now is addressing a series of questions about distribution policy and investment management submitted by state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna. Among them: How to ensure that once an endowment fund fills its reserves, that the interests of current and future beneficiaries are equally weighted. Johnson said the endowment board has made a change in its distribution calculation to ensure that happens. However, Johnson said the public school fund is currently tipping the balance a bit to current beneficiaries over future ones. As income in the fund recovers, distributions may need to be increased more slowly to address that, he said; if income doesn't grow, "a reduction in the distribution rate may be necessary." That's not likely what Luna wanted to hear.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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