Land board OKs payouts

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The State Board of Land Commissioners approved Aug. 15 a 6.4-percent year-over-year increase in the fiscal year 2019 payout from the eight endowment funds that support Idaho’s public school system, universities and other beneficiaries.

Idaho’s public school system will receive — 7-percent more than the FY18 distribution.

Other endowment trusts provide long-term support to higher education, state hospitals for the mentally ill, state veterans homes, the Capitol building, the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind, Idaho’s juvenile corrections system, and Idaho’s prison system.

The total FY19 distribution to all beneficiaries, amounting to $78,206,400, sets a new record.

The endowment fund that supports Idaho’s prison system saw the largest year-over-year increase at 11.6 percent.

The money comes from economic activity on state endowment trust lands - mostly from the sale of timber - and earnings on investments.

The Endowment Fund Investment Board (EFIB) manages the funds from the use of endowment lands and recommended the distributions.

The Land Board also approved the EFIB recommendation to transfer $129.5 million of excess reserves to a permanent fund to offset population growth and boost overall distributions.

“The recommendations represent an appropriate balance between the interests of current and future beneficiaries,” EFIB Manager of Investments Larry Johnson said.

The Land Board provides direction to the Idaho Department of Lands in its management of more than 2.4 million acres of endowment trust lands in Idaho and the EFIB in its management of $2.1 billion in trust funds generated from the use of the lands. The Land Board is comprised of the Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Controller, and Superintendent of Public Instruction.

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