State Fund Down About $26 Million in Market Tumble

By Beacon Staff

GREAT FALLS – A spokesman says the Montana State Fund lost $26 million in late September when the stock market tanked.

At about the same time, Montana voters received a pamphlet describing Constitutional Amendment 44. Approved by the 2007 Legislature, it would allow up to 25 percent of all state trust fund assets to be invested in stocks.

The Montana Constitution allows only the Teachers Retirement Fund and the Workers’ Compensation Fund to invest up to 25 percent of their assets in the stock market. CA44 would extend that policy to other state funds.

The Montana State Fund has about $1 billion invested in corporate bonds, banks and with brokerage dealers. Fund spokesman Carl Kochman says only about $35 million, about 3.5 percent of the fund’s assets, is a concern.