Brooklyn, NY -- State Senator Kevin Parker has demonstrated his concern about global terrorism by co-sponsoring two similar bills that authorize the New York State Comptroller to refrain from investing the funds of the retirement system in corporate or financial entities that do business with or in nations that support and sponsor terrorism.
The first bill was introduced by Senator Jeff Klein and is an amendment to the Retirement and Social Security Law. The amendment ruled that the State Comptroller shall refrain from investing the funds of the retirement system in companies doing business in or with nations identified as state sponsors of terrorism. Named as these "nations identified as state sponsors of terrorism" by the United States State Department were Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. The new bill also requires the State Comptroller to conduct a study and make a report of investments in these countries within six months and annually for the next three years. The report will be reviewed by the governor, the legislature and office of homeland security.
An additional amendment to the Retirement and Social Security Law was introduced by Senator Craig Johnson. In this bill, the State Comptroller has the ability to repeal state pension funds investments from those companies that do business in and with Iran. This bill creates the "Iranian Economic Divestment Act of 2007" which authorizes the State Comptroller to refrain from investing funds in companies conducting business in Iran. The act states that Iran is the most active state sponsor of terrorism and threatens the regional stability and international security "by pursuing a nuclear program, rattling sabers at its neighbors, especially Israel and supporting terrorist organizations through its energy sector."
Calling on leaders in New York State to take an active role in protecting New York’s public retirement funds, Senator Parker said: "Six years ago, New York City was the target of one of the worst terrorist attacks in our history. We must ensure that our public retirement funds are not used to finance potential acts of terrorism or to support nations that sponsor terrorists organizations. In doing do, we are not just protecting New York Retirement Portfolio but our citizens as well as our soldiers who are protecting our country abroad."
Senator Parker, in his ultimate aim of adequately representing all the constituents in his district added, "I am pleased that we in State government are doing our share by vigilantly opposing any activities which are in any way affiliated and supportive of terrorism. And certainly, financial battles are one of the best counter terrorism tactics that we have available to us."
Senator Parker represents the 21st District in Brooklyn, which encompasses Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington and Borough Park. He is acclaimed for his concern and dedication to his constituents, which comprises a large section of the Jewish community.
His recent involvement in amendment of the Retirement and Social Security Law is indicative of his interest and support with issues of great concern to all sectors of his district.