Alaska bills target Sudan divestment
By Timothy Inklebarger | February 2, 2009 1:35 pm
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and four state legislators introduced separate bills that would force the state to divest investments in publicly traded companies that conduct or have direct investments in business operations in Sudan.
The bill would apply to the Alaska Permanent Fund as well as the state’s retirement systems, supplemental annuity plans and deferred compensation, among other funds.
“The investment of funds in business firms and financial institutions with ties to the repressive regime in Sudan is inconsistent with the moral and political values of the people of Alaska,” Ms. Palin wrote in the bill’s sponsor statement. Under Ms. Palin’s proposal, all investments would have to comply with the federal Sudan Divestment and Accountability Act of 2007. The bill also provides a sunset provision that would end the law if Congress or the president determines that the divestment interferes with U.S. foreign policy or if the federal act is repealed.
Other state lawmakers also are interested in Sudan legislation; Sen. Hollis French and Rep. Bob Lynn introduced separate divestment bills, and Rep. Les Gara and Rep. Berta Gardner also are co-sponsored another piece of legislation.
Fund fiduciaries and the Department of Revenue are determining which investments would be affected by the Sudan proposal.