Relates to prohibiting investment of funds of the common retirement fund in companies doing business in Sudan and requires divestiture of any such investments within three years.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the retirement and social security law, in relation to prohibiting investment of certain public funds in companies doing business in Sudan
PURPOSE: Directs the New York State Comptroller and all state governmental entities to cease and desist from the investment of public monies in companies, corporations or other business entities which are conducting business or maintaining commercial ties with the government of Sudan or its governmental subdivisions.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Amends Retirement and Social Security Law by adding a new § 423-d, to prohibit New York State from investing in business or commercial entities which maintain economic ties with the Sudanese government.
EXISTING LAW: Nothing in current law prohibits such investment.
JUSTIFICATION: The Darfur region of western Sudan is site of the 21st century's first great episode of genocide. In February 2003, an insurgency war exploded out of decades of economic and political marginalization. Khartoum's military response to the rebellion has been to attack the livelihood of the civilian populations perceived as supporting the insurgents, including the wholesale destruction of villages, water sources, food and seed stocks, agricultural animals and tools, and other precious resources. It has also meant the mass execution of men and boys, the systematic rape of women and girls, and ultimately the displacement of more than 2 million people. More than 250,000 have died; hundreds of thousands face death from malnutrition and appalling conditions in camps that have become breeding grounds for disease.
In the face of international indifference to this situation, New York State should join the divestment campaign targeting multinational corporations that provide critical economic, commercial, and financial support to Khartoum.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12: S.2477 - Referred to Civil Service; Reported to Finance 2009-10: S.2612 - Referred to Civil Service; Reported to Finance 2007-08: S.2924 - Referred to Civil Service and Pensions 2005-06: S.5723 - Referred to Civil Service and Pensions
This bill would require that any assets of the Common Retirement Fund invested in any company doing business in or with Sudan or with agencies or instrumentalities be divested not later than three years following the date of enactment of this legislation. This bill would decrease the number of investment choices available for investment by
the Common Retirement Fund. Presumably this could lead to a lower rate of return on the Fund's investments, decreasing the probability of achieving our actuarial assumed rate of return, currently at 8%. A diminished rate of return would cause an increase in the contributions of the State of New York and the participating employers in the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System and the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System. There also would be additional administrative costs to identify companies that are doing business in or with Sudan.*
*Provided by the Office of the New York State Comptroller.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately upon enactment.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1266 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. PERKINS, BRESLIN, DIAZ, DILAN, HASSELL-THOMPSON, KRUEGER, MONTGOMERY, PARKER, SERRANO, SMITH -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Civil Service and Pensions AN ACT to amend the retirement and social security law, in relation to prohibiting investment of certain public funds in companies doing business in Sudan THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The retirement and social security law is amended by adding a new section 423-d to read as follows: S 423-D. INVESTMENT OF CERTAIN PUBLIC FUNDS IN COMPANIES DOING BUSI- NESS IN SUDAN. 1. ON AND AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION, NO MONEYS OR ASSETS OF THE COMMON RETIREMENT FUND SHALL BE INVESTED IN THE STOCKS, SECURITIES OR OTHER OBLIGATIONS OF ANY INSTITUTION OR COMPANY DOING BUSINESS IN OR WITH SUDAN OR WITH AGENCIES OR INSTRUMENTALITIES THEREOF. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, NO ASSETS OF ANY PENSION OR ANNUITY FUND UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE COMP- TROLLER, SHALL BE INVESTED IN ANY BANK OR FINANCIAL INSTITUTION WHICH DIRECTLY OR THROUGH A SUBSIDIARY HAS OUTSTANDING LOANS TO OR FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES IN SUDAN OR ITS INSTRUMENTALITIES AND NO SUCH ASSETS SHALL BE INVESTED IN THE STOCKS, SECURITIES OR OTHER OBLIGATIONS OF ANY COMPANY WHICH DIRECTLY OR THROUGH A SUBSIDIARY IS ENGAGED IN BUSINESS IN OR WITH SUDAN OR ITS INSTRUMENTALITIES. 2. THE COMPTROLLER SHALL TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION TO SELL, REDEEM, DIVEST OR WITHDRAW ANY INVESTMENT HELD IN VIOLATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO REQUIRE THE PREMA- TURE OR OTHERWISE IMPRUDENT SALE, REDEMPTION, DIVESTMENT OR WITHDRAWAL OF AN INVESTMENT, BUT SUCH SALE, REDEMPTION, DIVESTMENT OR WITHDRAWALEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04236-01-3 S. 1266 2
SHALL BE COMPLETED NOT LATER THAN THREE YEARS FOLLOWING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION. 3. WITHIN SIXTY DAYS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION, THE COMPTROLLER SHALL FILE WITH THE LEGISLATURE A REPORT OF ALL INVESTMENTS HELD AS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION WHICH ARE IN VIOLATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION. EVERY YEAR THEREAFTER, THE COMPTROLLER SHALL REPORT ON ALL INVESTMENTS SOLD, REDEEMED, DIVESTED OR WITHDRAWN IN COMPLIANCE WITH THIS SECTION. EACH REPORT AFTER THE INITIAL REPORT SHALL PROVIDE A DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRESS WHICH THE COMPTROLLER HAS MADE SINCE THE PREVIOUS REPORT AND SINCE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.