Democratic state Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal of University City stirred interest over Missouri’s investments this week.
She filed legislation Wednesday calling for state agencies to divest themselves of assets in Russia. Chappelle-Nadal linked her proposal to Republican President-elect Donald Trump’s acknowledgement that operatives for the country were involved in November’s presidential election.
GOP Senate President-Pro Tem Ron Richard had little to say about Russia’s alleged meddling in U.S. affairs Thursday. “I’ll let Donald Trump worry about that” said Richard.
He did say the proposal wouldn’t be ignored by the GOP dominated chamber. “It’ll go to committee and end up getting a hearing and see what develops. I don’t pay much attention to any bill until it comes to the floor of the Senate, and then I’ll see what we’re going to do. But that bill will be treated like everybody else.”
Chappelle-Nadal’s proposal would prohibit state and local government agencies from contracting with or investing in individuals, partnerships, corporations, or other organizations doing business with Russia or its occupied territories.
Republican State Treasurer Eric Schmitt ran for office last year partly based on a platform to prohibit the state from investing in countries designated as “state sponsors of terrorism” by the United States.
Chappelle said “Missouri taxpayers should not be forced to send their hard-earned dollars to a country that undermines and attacks America”.
In a follow-up interview with Missourinet, she said she backs the efforts of Republican U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain to investigate Russia’s role in the election.
State Senate Minority Floor Leader Gina Walsh praised Chappelle-Nadal for looking into the issue. “I hope she pursues what she’s doing. I’d hate to find out that the state has money invested in an overseas group or country that doesn’t think like minded like the United States.”