The Illinois Senate is scheduled to vote on a bill March 24 that would require the five state-funded retirement systems to divest investment holdings in companies that boycott Israel.
The bill would affect the $44.8 billion Illinois Teachers' Retirement System, Springfield, and $17.3 billion Illinois State Universities' Retirement System, Champaign, as well as the Illinois State Employees' Retirement System, Illinois Judges' Retirement System, and Illinois General Assembly Retirement System, whose $15.4 billion in combined assets are overseen by the Illinois State Board of Investment, Chicago.
The bill, SB 1761, could impact investments in some 25 to 30 companies, according to one preliminary estimate cited by William R. Atwood, executive director of the Illinois State Board of Investment. No companies were identified.
A similar bill, HB 4011, is pending in the House, which hasn't set a date for a vote.
“I am preparing for them to pass,” Mr. Atwood said.
Both bills require each of the five systems “to make its best efforts to identify all companies that boycott Israel in which it has direct or indirect holdings and, under certain circumstances, to divest itself of holdings in those companies,” according to the text of the bills.
The Office of Antiboycott Compliance of the U.S. Department of Commerce oversees enforcement of U.S. anti-boycott laws that “discourage, and in some circumstances, prohibit U.S. companies from furthering or supporting the boycott of Israel sponsored by the Arab League, and certain other countries,” according to a statement on the OAC's website.