Senate approves legislation to help Michigan fight terror
Thursday, January 17, 2008
LANSING - A legislative package requiring state funds be divested from companies engaging in business with terrorist countries was approved by the Michigan Senate Thursday, said state Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw Township.
"This legislation puts Michigan at the forefront with our nation's most comprehensive divestment plan," said Kahn, who authored two resolutions in the package. "Michiganians can be assured that their hard earned tax dollars will not be used to bankroll the terrorists warring against us."
Under the bills, Michigan funds would be divested from any companies that actively engage in business with terrorist countries as designated by the U.S. State Department. The five nations that currently meet this definition are: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. The Senate package also will require the Michigan Department of Treasury to establish a public Web site identifying the names of companies conducting business with terrorist countries.
Senate Resolution 122 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 21 both urge state departments, public universities, public community colleges, and local units of government not to invest or deposit any funds in any business, legal, or governmental entity or institution that is engaged in business with known state sponsors of terror or has facilities in these countries.
A survey by Luntz-Maslansky Strategic Research indicated that 81 percent of Americans believe that the public pension funds of government employees "definitely should not" invest in companies that do business with countries that sponsor terrorism.
At least 16 other states have enacted divestment measures, and approximately 31 other states are considering such legislation.
"I think we can all agree that this issue needs to be addressed. I appreciate the support my resolutions received from both sides of the aisle," said Kahn.
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