Friday, January 30, 2009

5 Bills Call for Alaska's Divestment from Sudan

We've come a long way, Baby!! There are now 5 bills in the Alaska Legislature that would require the Permanent Fund, the state's retirement systems, the State of Alaska Supplemental Annuity Plan, and the deferred compensation program for state employees to divest holdings in companies that do business in Sudan. The bills would also prohibit future investments in those companies for as long as the Darfur Genocide continues.

The bills in the House include HB 5, HB 45, and HB 92. HB 5 is sponsored by Representatives Bob Lynn and Les Gara. HB 45 is sponsored by Representatives Gara, Gardner, Petersen, Kerttula, Guttenberg, and Gruenberg. HB 92 is being put forth by Governor Palin. The Senate bills are SB 37, sponsored by Senators Hollis French and Johnny Ellis, and SB 81, which is the Governor's companion bill to HB 92.

Each bill offers a cost-effective and efficient protocol for divesting the targeted foreign funds. The additional burden to the investment managers would be nominal -- just as divestment would have a nominal effect on our Permanent Fund dividends.

Please continue to let the Governor and your state senator and representative know that you want him/her to vote in favor of divestment. Go to the Alaska State Legislature home page to get contact information for your legislators. Governor Palin's contact information in Juneau is P.O. Box 110001, Juneau, AK 99811-0001; Phone 907-465-3500; Fax 907-465-3532.