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House | June 16, 2015 | Committee Room | Pensions and Retirement

Full MP3 Audio File

Alright, seeing that we have a quorum now will call the meeting of pensions and retirement to order recognise the pages first, jayran Hallman from Wake and he's sponsored by Susie Hamilton Jailen, good to have you with us today, hope you're enjoying your week so far so far, thank you. Adjourn Gnajia okay, I'm sorry I butchered your name but anyway from Wake sponsored by Gale Ekok, thank you for your services this week, Matthew Liner, I welcome Matthew from Mecklenburg sponsor by Dynope thank you for your services and Rays Maggie from union also sponsored by Dynope, Rays thank you for your service this week and our sergeant of arms today are Berrymore, B. H Paul and David Repcroson. Thank you. If they are any people I the audience that want to speak on this bill please let the Sergeant at arms know. We have one available force today senate bill 455 and Representative, excuse me Senator Gunn Mr. Chair? Excuse me. Sen. Gunn is recognized to explain his bill. This is a PCS and Representative Elmor recommends that the PCS be before us. All in favor say aye Thank you, Mr. Chair. Good to see everyone this morning. Let me first just start by recognizing a few people who have worked on this bill and helped us craft this bill to make it as good as we possible could. First of all I want to thank the Department of the Treasury and their fine staff for their input to make what was a good bill a better bill. So we do commend you for that and I also should give an acknowledgement to Lieutenant-Governor Don Forrest and in particular his staff members, Steven Walker and Rebecca Bradley for their assistance in bringing this legislation forward and helping us craft the Iran Divestment Act 2015, just a little history before we get into North Carolina's bill. Back in 2010 the federal comprehensive Iran sanctions accountability and divestment act was formed on the federal level. One of the provisions of that particular act was that it authorized state and local governments to prevent investment in companies operating in Iran's energy sector. So what this, before we get into the bill, let me just make a couple of comments. We understand that I ran to international stability and security. They are not only a threat to United States to some of our very important allies. We know that they support the widespread support of international terrorism and this is not the people of Iran, but it is the government of Iran that is causing these problems. So here's what this bill will do, this bill will prohibit state governments and local governments from doing business with Iran as relates to the energy sector, it prohibits state government and local government from contracting with companies that do business at certain levels relative to the energy sector, it also directs the state treasurers office to create a public policy prohibiting state investment in companies that do business in Iran energy sector. Let's make sure that you do understand what this bill does not do, in any way does this bill interfere with foreign affairs or private business we have the right in section 202 of the Comprehensive Iran Sanction Accountability and Investment Act to authorize state and local government to divert from a run. It does not in anyway, interfere with private citizens ability to conduct business as they choose. we will talk about who else does this, this is not trailblazing, since 2010 we have several States have enacted similar Bills including New York, South Carolina, Michigan and Kinetika [xx]. The're also 21 States that have either advancement policy, or a contract prohibition, legislation against

the run and their energy sector. This Bill put it in line with the state treasures that existing around investment policy which currently applies to the North Carolina retirement system. So here's how this bill will work. Upon passing the State Treasurer will adopt the investment policy that leads to several criterias listed in this legislation. It will take them about 120 days to devise a proposed list of companies that do one or two things. They either provide at least $20 million in goods and services to [xx] energy sector or they provide at least $20 million and financing to other for the purchase of goods and services related to [xx] energy sector. After a period of time they will publicize the list. They'll have a 90 day comment period for companies that want to respond, and at that point in time they'll post this list and the subdivisions meaning our cities our counties and our state government we'll abide by the list as relates to not being able to do business with North Carolina as in the state government in North Carolina if they are providing the stretch holds in investment in a rand energy sector. The bill does provide for certain limitation, we'll not go through those, they are in your summary but under circumstances it will be okay to do that under very, very defined guidelines. EOF and Wien[sp?] the following happens then this law will not apply anymore, if the press in their congress declares that the best man of this type interferes with the conduct of the United States form policy, or a congress authority that they have given to the state of North Carolina and other states to vast in the matter provided for this act. So what we're doing is we're we're joining a growing number of states, either through legislation or through policy that sending a message that we're not going to take our tax payer money and provide services and do business with a rule government that has shown that they have the capabilities to harbor terrorists to produce mass weapons and we're going to use our money better and hopefully pass the arranged investment act of 2015, capable staff that will be [xx] Brown will answer all of the smart questions and legal questions that you may have, I'll be more than happy to talk a little bit more about the need for the policy and I appreciate the opportunity to present this important legislation. Thank you Senator Gale, I believe I saw representative Haley came first, representative Haley. Thank you Mr. Chair, I was wondering how the treasurer's office will know what companies are doing business? Senator Gun[sp?] And certainly Mr. Chairman, at discretion of the chair would call on the state treasurers office as a matter of policy, they are already doing this, they have had this divestment act for the retirement system ongoing, matter of fact there was some question asked, who should administer this particular list and it was concluded that the treasurer from because their policy already to have a divestment policy in place against the run, that they would be the best people to keep up with this. They do update their list on an ongoing basis but I think representative Haley in my opinion there would be a better maybe to hear from somebody from the state treasury. Is there anyone here from the State Treasurer's offices who wants to speak to Representative Hurley's questions? I'm Edgar Starnes, I'm with the Office of State Treasurer. We have Blake Thomas who's a legal counsel with our Investment Division, I believe he would be best able to answer the exact details of how we make the list. Mr. Thomas if you would come forward and state your name and make your statement. Good morning I'm Blake Thomas, Deputy General counsel with the Department of State Treasurer. Today representatives, we generate that list using number of commercial services that due to due diligence in these areas and make that available. We also looked at federal sanction list which are the touch down in this area

and together it produces a good solid list that can be the beginning point for us then to interact with these individual companies, look at their public filings and ask to hear their side of the story. So companies that are listed on that's not the policy criticize company was today enlisted after we've given them chance of best standard, destroying and making them independent [xx] based on the [xx] Thank you. Okay [xx] [xx] Ooh Mr. Chairman can I just explain my point. Thank you. you are recognised This is not any thing nice to be state in North Carolina this has been done before I take some pride I have done it before with [xx] for investment in South Afica so years ago we did a divestment of interest in South Africa, and it went way up. I look at the legislation and sort of the same legislation to be [xx] back there at that time, and I think it's a good move as I have said, all the things that the senators have said I think it's a good [xx] I think it's time for us to go. I really want to be patriotic this is the time in here you can claim patriotism by not partial by helping not partial what your enemies are doing Mr. Chairman, I just had [xx] Are there any other questions or comments from the committee? Anyone in the audience who wants to speak in favor of the bill? Anyone to speak against the bill? I can see none. Representative Mitchelle, you are recognized for your favorable report committee substitute unfavorable for a read[sp?]   Alright committee hears the motion before the committee all in favor say Aye, opposed No, it appears Ayes have it the Ayes do have it. House Senate Bill 455 is PCS should give a favorable report and seeing no further business we're adjourned.