Senate Research Center H.C.R. 143
By: Burnam (Ellis)
AUTHOR'S/SPONSOR'S STATEMENT OF INTENT
The United States cannot hope to stop acts of genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan without halting the flow of money to the government of Sudan from public pension funds that invest in United States companies doing business in that country;
Seizing power through a military coup in 1989, the government of Sudan repeatedly has attacked and dislocated civilian populations in Darfur, Sudan, in a coordinated policy of ethnic genocide that has cost the lives of more than two million people and displaced more than four million others;
The Center for Security Policy has determined that, on average, the nation's leading public pension funds are invested in 26 companies doing business in Sudan; the Employees Retirement System of Texas investments reflect this average, while the Teacher Retirement System of Texas has 35 such holdings, according to the center;
The center also reports that the pension systems of the Houston police department, the Dallas police and fire departments, and the San Antonio police and fire departments are invested in companies with ties to Sudan;
While it is unconscionable that any public pension plan would, in effect, be rendering assistance to a nation that is one of the top supporters of international terrorism, it is a particular affront to police officers and firefighters that their pension funds are willing to hold the stock of companies with ties to Sudan;
Managers of Texas public pension funds have the power to ensure that public pension funds are invested to support, rather than undermine, our efforts to defeat terrorists, including the perpetrators of crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur, Sudan.
That the 79th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby encourage managers of Texas public pension funds to divest their portfolios of any stock in publicly-traded companies doing business in Sudan.
That the secretary of state forward an official copy of this resolution to the executive director of the State Pension Review Board for inclusion in mailings to the more than 200 active public pension systems in Texas.