Lawmakers will discuss endowment returns

Is Idaho getting an adequate return on its state endowment lands?

An “interim committee” of 11 legislators will discuss that issue Thursday.

The Endowment Asset Issues committee will meet from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. in Room EW 42, on the Statehouse’s garden level.

The endowment return issue affects several beneficiaries — most notably K-12. Public schools receive $31.3 million a year from the endowment, about two-thirds of the state’s total payments.

The interim committee’s agenda includes an overview on the state’s endowment lands and other assets. Lawmakers will also hear two “perspectives” on the state’s endowment legal authority — one from former Attorney General David Leroy, and one from current deputy attorney general Clive Strong.

The endowment assets committee is not to be confused with a second legislative interim committee looking at a related issue: demanding state management of federal lands. The committee studying that issue began meeting a year ago, and is due to make its recommendations to the 2015 Legislature.

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