Ohio legislators today approved sweeping reform measures that included removing the state attorney general from the boards of the state's five largest public pension funds while giving him watchdog status over them. The bill also removes the state auditor from each pension fund board but adds the state treasurer and two investment experts, one appointed by the governor and one appointed by legislative leaders.
In a 22-11 vote, the Ohio Senate approved the bill, which also requires the funds to adopt travel, ethics and compensation policies and requires fund board members and investment staff to file annual financial disclosure statements. The Ohio House approved the revised bill on Tuesday and it now goes to Gov. Bob Taft, who has indicated he will sign it.
The bill does not include the controversial "Buy Ohio" provision that would have required the systems use Ohio-based investment managers and brokers for a certain percentage of their business but it does require the systems to develop goals to increase the use of Ohio-based brokers and money managers.
The five systems, all based in Columbus, are the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, State Teachers Retirement System, Police & Fire Pension Fund, School Employees Retirement System and Highway Patrol Retirement System.