Hegar Seeks To Move More of State’s Rainy Day Fund From Cash To Stocks and Bonds

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar says the fund now holds nearly $12.5 billion. He wants to invest more of it as a hedge against inflation.

Texas' Rainy Day Fund now holds $12.48 billion, following an infusion of $1.38 billion in oil and gas revenues. The state comptroller is asking lawmakers for approval to make some changes to the fund.

Comptroller Glenn Hegar wants permission to shift more of the fund's cash into stocks and bonds. He said putting more of the money into higher-yield, long-term investments will protect the fund against inflation and bolster the state's AAA credit rating.

"The rating agencies have said, ‘Yes, you need an economic stabilization fund. You need money in there. But you also need to make sure that you are funding your services, whether it's education or health care or transportation infrastructure,'" said Sherri Greenberg, clinical professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin.

Higher-yield investments also come with higher risk. While less vulnerable to inflation, they can lose value when markets decline.

Any changes to the fund must be approved by lawmakers in the upcoming state legislative session, which begins January 8.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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