Wyoming Treasurer Urges Support For Amendment A
The proposal would allow the state to invest certain funds in the stock market that currently are prohibited from investment in stocks. Gordon says it's important to understand the fact that a 2/3 majority vote of both houses of the state legislature would be needed to approve investments.
He also says that under no circumstances would the state invest 100 percent of any available funds in stocks, but would only consider stocks as part of a diversified investment portfolio that would be designed to upgrade the state's return on investments without risking too much. Gordon says such state funds as the Permanent Mineral Trust Fund and the state's retirement funds have been allowed to invest in a combination of bonds and equities (including some stocks) since 1996 and would not be affected by Amendment A.
But he says there are about 300 state accounts that could be affected by the passage of the amendment.
Gordon says the problem with investing in bonds right now is that they offer a very low return, in some cases not even keeping up with inflation. He says allowing part, but not all, of the restricted funds to be invested in stocks would increase the return on state investments without exposing investments to big losses in case of a major downturn in the market.
Under Wyoming law, constitutional amendments must be approved by a majority of voters casting ballots in the election, rather than just a majority of those voting on the specific item.
That means not voting on an amendment essentially counts as a no vote.