Wyoming Treasurer Supports Amendment A
Wyoming State Treasurer Mark Gordon is asking voters to support a change in the state constitution that would allow more state funds to be invested in the stock market with the legislature's approval.
Constitutional Amendment A is on Wyoming's General Election Ballot in November.
Gordon says currently money from permanent funds, such as the Permanent Mineral Trust Fund can be invested in stocks. but he says regular funds, such as the general fund or the "rainy day fund" can only be invested in fixed income investments, such as bonds or securities.
Gordon says the return on some of those investments is currently so low that it isn't keeping up with inflation and the state is losing money on them.
He says, by contrast, the funds which are allowed to be invested in stocks have out-earned the fixed income investments by about three times over since 2002.
He says the amendment in regard to regular funds "would allow the legislature to take a few of those (regular funds) and say you can have a little bit of stock."
He says the state would still make sure it has a diversified investment portfolio of stocks and bonds "and a whole bunch of things" to protect against any large-scale losses.
Gordon says that even though the state lost $400 million in the "great recession" of 2008-2009 "we recovered all of that within a year." He says that was possible because "we were able to buy back at the bottom of that recession and ride up the recovery," quickly recouping the losses.
Gordon also is reminding voters that Wyoming law requires constitutional amendments to be approved by a majority of voters casting ballots in the election, rather than just a majority of people voting on the amendment itself.
That means people who bypass voting on the amendment essentially count as no votes.