Local Investing Bill Passed By House Committee

The House Appropriations Committee has voted in favor of HB 835 Local Facility Closure Reserve FundInvestments and Reinvestments. MACo supported this legislation that will allow local governments to invest facility closure reserve funds like long-term funds, outside the tight restrictions placed on short-term investments.

One example of how this law could help local governments is that it will allow them to invest landfill closure reserve funds which they already set aside in reserve for many years before a landfills closure.  The bill language would also cover closure reserves for locally operated composting or other similar facilities without the need for additional legislation.

As described in MACo’s testimony,

MACo supports this legislation as a reasonable and appropriate extension of current local government investment policy. The current list of exceptions to the “public funds” definition has been opened up piecemeal to allow counties to invest postemployment benefits, trust funds, and self- insurance funds following guidelines for pension fund investments. In each case the investments are still subject to a locally approved investment policy.

This bill’s additional exception for local facility closure reserve funds fits with the state’s policy intent, and allows county governments to invest these funds accordingly. The bill’s fiscal note identifies the widespread nature of these long term obligations – HB 835 would provide an extra incentive for local governments to responsibly commit current funds toward these liabilities.

The bill will now proceed to the House floor for a vote. If passed by the House, it will crossover into the Senate for consideration. The Senate may also move the crossfile of this bill, SB 631.