IDAHO SECRETARY OF STATE
ELECTION DIVISION


YEAR 2000 PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

 

HJR 1

Statements FOR the Proposed Amendment to
Section 4, Article IX
Constitution of the State of Idaho

  1. Changing the name of the Public School Fund to the Public School Permanent Endowment Fund clarifies the distinction between this fund and other funds related to public schools. It also makes the name consistent with the other permanent endowment funds held by the state.
  2. The amendment clarifies the source of money for the Public School Permanent Endowment Fund.
  3. The amendment makes it easier for the state to buy land that will produce more money for public schools. It will not cause a sell-off of that land. The state maintains nine endowments, with public schools being the largest. Since becoming a state in 1890, Idaho has had the authority to sell endowment land to raise money for the endowment designated for that land. The state has sold over one-million acres since then. However, even with the amendment, longstanding restrictions on the disposal of endowment land apply, such as the restriction in the Idaho constitution that no more than 100 sections (64,000 acres) of endowment land can be sold per year.
  4. The amendment will result in more money for public schools by giving the state an alternative to the current, inefficient requirement that land exchanges must be performed to acquire land for the public school endowment. Using the Land Bank Fund referred to in the amendment, the state will be able to hold, for a limited time, the proceeds of a sale of public school endowment land for later purchase of replacement land that will be more valuable and will produce more income for public schools.
  5. Proceeds from the sale of public school endowment land, if deposited in the Land Bank Fund, will still be invested and will earn income while in that fund. If that money is not used to buy land for public schools within a certain amount of time, the money and its earnings will be returned to the Public School Permanent Endowment Fund for long-term investment.
  6. Land owners who want to dispose of land are more often interested in selling their land for cash rather than in exchanging it for other land. Because money will be available in the Land Bank Fund for the state to buy land for the public school endowment, the pool of willing sellers and available properties should increase, making it easier for the state to buy more valuable replacement land that will produce more income for public schools.

HJR 1

Statements AGAINST the Proposed Amendment to
Section 4, Article IX
Constitution of the State of Idaho

  1. Changing the name of the Public School Fund to the Public School Permanent Endowment Fund is unnecessary. People who deal with the public school endowment already know what the name refers to.
  2. Requiring that the Public School Permanent Endowment Fund contain proceeds from the sale of lands of the public school endowment is unnecessary because those proceeds already have to be deposited into the permanent fund of the public school endowment.
  3. The amendment will promote a sell-off of public school endowment lands by eliminating the need for land exchanges and allowing sale and purchase transactions between the state and private parties. Such a sell-off will reduce the land base on which Idaho public schools rely for investment income. The state should not be in the business of buying and selling land.
  4. Although the state constitution limits land sales to no more than 100 sections (64,000 acres) of state land per year, this amendment makes it easier for the state to reach that limit, which could result in a reduction of the physical assets of the public school endowment. The requirement that state endowment land can only be exchanged for other land is necessary to prevent depletion of the land base.
  5. Allowing money to be held in the Land Bank Fund, even for a limited time, will divert investment money from the Public School Permanent Endowment Fund. The diversion will result in lower revenues for public schools. Money held in the Land Bank Fund will not earn as much money because of the short amount of time it will be held.
  6. The amendment will allow the Land Board to sell off large tracts of land in southern Idaho that are now open for public camping, hunting, fishing and other recreational activities. Large corporate ranchers may benefit from the amendment by buying up public lands, reducing the amount of state-owned land accessible to the public.

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