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Associated Press, Published August 27 2012

ND lawmakers caution against raiding oil tax trust fund

BISMARCK — Some North Dakota lawmakers say they don't expect much spending from a state oil tax trust fund, but they should be ready in case it happens.

An advisory board is hiring a consultant for advice on how to invest the oil fund. It was set up by North Dakota voters in 2010, and it already has about $500 million.

The Legislature can't spend any of the fund for at least five years.

Hazen Sen. Randy Christmann is chairman of the advisory board. He says with North Dakota's strong economy, he doubts the Legislature will dip into the fund. But he says things could change.

Wyndmere Sen. Jim Dotzenrod is a member of the advisory board. He says he's hoping the fund will be allowed to grow.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.