TCC Members Voted to End State Investments in Iran
Companies and investors dealing with Iran aid a threatening foreign regime that is pursuing nuclear- weapons capability, brutally repressing its citizens while knowingly violating human rights, and sponsoring insidious forms of terrorism. Based on these dangerous actions antithetical to American security and prosperity, U.S. state governments, which manage trillions of dollars of taxpayer money through pension funds, should divest from and deny contracts to companies that do business in Iran, as is expressly allowed for by federal law.
In the 83rd Texas legislative session, state lawmakers enacted SB 200 to do precisely that. Under the bill, all “state governmental entities”, including the Employees Retirement System, the Teacher Retirement System, and all municipal, county, and local retirement systems, are required to divest from companies that are engaged in business activities in Iran. In addition, the State Pension Review Board is instructed to create a list of all “scrutinized” Texas companies that have contracts with or provide supplies (both military and non-) or services to the government of Iran, as well as ones in which the Iranian government has a direct or indirect equity share. The list must be updated annually and distributed to the legislature and attorney general. For each company engaged in active business operations in Iran:
–>A state governmental entity must send a notice warning the company that it may become subject to divestment by state governmental entities.
–>The company has an opportunity to clarify its Iran-related activities and whether they are subject to the state’s divestment scheme. If the company continues to have scrutinized active business operations in Iran following the warning, the state must sell, redeem, divest, or withdraw all publicly-traded securities of the company.
–>All of the divested assets must be removed from state’s investment portfolio.
–>Each year, a publicly available report is filed that identifies all securities sold, redeemed, divested.
The Best And Worst States To Make A Living In 2015
For states looking to land on the positive end of this annual ranking, the lessons are simple: Offer healthy wages, manageable taxes, a low cost of living, and safe working environments. No extra points will be awarded for scenic beauty.
“The big picture is good–the job market is getting better these days, we’ve even seen wage growth start to tick up. But it kind of breaks down
a little when you start to look state by state,” said Richard Barrington, senior financial analyst for MoneyRates.com and author of the study.
“We tend to talk about the U.S. economy and the job market as if they’re all one thing, but it’s too big for that. There are sharp differences from one state to another.”
To determine the best and worst states to make a living this year, personal finance site MoneyRates.com considered average wages, taxes, cost of living, unemployment rate, and incidents of workplace safety incidents (including illness, injuries, and deaths) for each state. The study drew on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), and D.C. think tank the Tax Foundation.
Washington state cedes its lead this year to Texas which moves out of second place to claim the title of the best state to make a living this year. Texans benefited from a lower than average cost of living that helped them maximize average wages only slightly above average. Very low numbers of workplace safety incidents coupled with no income tax puts the Lone Star State on top, while Washington moves to second place.
Statement From Lt. Governor Patrick on Signing of 2016-17 Budget
AUSTIN – Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick released the following statement following Governor Greg Abbott signing the 2016-17 budget into law:
“I am proud of the budget that Governor Abbott signed today. It not only addresses the priorities of Texans but maintains our conservative principles.
“This budget includes $3.8 billion in tax relief for property owners and businesses, $1.3 billion in funding for transportation infrastructure, and $800 million for enhanced border security, a dramatic increase that will make our state and nation safer.
“At the same time, this budget is well under estimates of population growth and inflation, billions under the state spending limit, and does not include any spending from the Rainy Day Fund.
“A budget of this nature is a result of fiscal discipline and a commitment to fund the state’s needs while refraining from spending all available revenue. When the legislature reconvenes, it should be well positioned to provide additional tax relief while continuing to hold the line on spending.
“I also commend Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson for her outstanding leadership and effectiveness in guiding this budget to final passage.”