The State Treasurer calls terror-free investing an absolute must for the state’s public pension funds, but she’s not calling the legislature to force public pension boards to invest terror-free. She is recommending it through her non-binding resolutions. Treasurer Sarah Steelman says she is putting her faith in the people to drive members of the boards to follow through with her recommendation.
Steelman says she has been fighting investment into companies that are directly tied to countries the U.S. State Department has listed as supporting terrorism for two years. But, she admits the pension board she serves on, the Missouri State Employer’s Retirement System, still has investments in companies linked to these countries. Steelman says there’s still a long way to go for terror-free investing and says she is counting on public pressure to drive board members to make terror-free investments.
Senator Scott Rupp says he and other lawmakers looked into the initiative and thought a non-binding resolution was best. He says Steelman’s main goal is to make people aware of terror-free investing and to get them talking about it. A law making it illegal to invest in companies linked to countries that the federal government says support terrorism would mean the state government would have to fund that law’s mandate. Rupp says before the state starts paying for what lawmakers call an important issue, they want to get feedback.