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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Otter on endowment investments: ‘These are the assets that we have’

Asked about possible legislation regarding the state Land Board and endowment investments that compete with private business, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter said, "If the effort is to limit, then I think you've got to change the Constitution." The Constitution requires endowment lands to be managed "for the long-term financial best interest of the beneficiaries - there is no limitation," he said. "I think that there is a philosophical limitation in Idaho, which I agree with, that we shouldn't be in competition against private business. If it's an effort to clarify the nature of the Land Board's relationship to our assets, that says you're going to be the landlord and that's it, you're not going to be an operator and that's it, then I don't have a problem in clarifying that," he said. "Now there may be other members of the Land Board that might."

Asked whether the endowment's traditional investments, from timber lands to Boise office buildings, don't also in a sense compete with private business, Otter responded, "What would you have us do - sell the lands? These are the assets that we have. These are the assets that were granted at statehood."

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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