Investment of Lifetime License Funds

MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT

The investment of moneys in the state fish and game trust account. 

The NYSCC supports granting the Comptroller more flexibility in the investment of the funds received through the sale of lifetime hunting, fishing and trapping licenses and privileges.  The current investment restrictions deprive the Conservation Fund of vitally needed income for no practicable reason.

Current statutory restrictions limit available investment options for these funds, known as the State Fish and Game Trust Account, to bank deposits and government securities.  In a low interest rate environment, this severely constrains the yield, limiting the funds available for the conservation purposes these funds are intended to benefit.

This legislation would give the Comptroller the authority to invest these funds to maximize income under the same guidelines that apply to retirement funds.  This is entirely appropriate, given the long-term objective of this account.

Given the current levels of return achieved by the state for these funds, this change could yield between $2 and $3 million additional income.