Treasurer Kennedy Says Funds Had Overall Positive Growth and Good Returns

BATON ROUGE, LA – Fiscal year 2002-2003 investment numbers are in for the state’s three major trust funds, and their combined earnings topped $137 million, according to State Treasurer John Kennedy. The state has roughly $3 billion in trust, and the income is dedicated to healthcare and education costs.

While other states are spending money right and left, incurring record deficits and dragging their bond ratings into the mud, Louisiana is saving its money and protecting it for our children and grandchildren, said Treasurer Kennedy. We have succeeded at making this money work for Louisiana citizens. Even with a shaky investment market, we were able to see overall positive growth and good returns on our trust funds.

Louisiana Education Quality Trust Fund (LEQTF)

The LEQTF’s market value this fiscal year was $952.7 million, up from $888 million the year before. The funds total rate of return was 10.64 percent compared to 1.4 percent last fiscal year. Investment earnings for the LEQTF totaled $49.5 million, the proceeds of which will benefit BESE and Board of Regents education projects.

Millennium Trust Fund

FY 2003 was the first full year of earnings reported for the Millennium Trust, and the funds market value has increased from $965.8 million to $1.1 billion. Income earned on the fund totaled $39.1 million this fiscal year, and the funds cash basis rate of return was 4.36 percent. The Treasury created the Millennium Trust in 2001, when the state sold 60 percent of its tobacco settlement and dedicated the proceeds to healthcare, education and the TOPS scholarship program.

Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly

The Medicaid Trust earned $48.4 million in income in FY 2003 and had a cash basis rate of return of 5.37 percent. The market value of the fund was $909.2 million this fiscal year compared to $777.8 million the prior year. The state uses interest earnings on the Medicaid Trust to provide funding for elderly healthcare and nursing home expenses.

Our goal is to steadily increase all of our trust funds over time, and our investment performance this fiscal year reflects a huge success, said Treasurer Kennedy. Our funds are well diversified and protected. Citizens should feel confident that taxpayer dollars for education and healthcare will continue to grow as safely as possible.

For more information on state trust funds or investments, visit www.latreasury.com.

Contact:
Sarah Mulhearn
(225) 342-0012