* This topic comes to us via a highly biased piece in the Chicago Monitor. I’m posting it only because I didn’t see any other stories online…
On Wednesday, the Illinois Senate voted to punish companies that boycott Israel… by requiring Illinois retirement funds to expend resources blacklisting, monitoring and withdrawing funds from such companies. The House adjourned on Friday without calling its own identical bill that had already been voted out of committee. The Senate Bill will now go to a House Committee for hearings before it goes to the whole House for a vote.
The Illinois Coalition to Protect Academic Freedom and Free Speech (member organizations listed below) was formed in response to this anti-boycott legislation introduced in the Illinois State Senate. This same coalition defeated bills in the Illinois legislature last year that sought to penalize Illinois higher education institutions, teachers, and other academics if they supported the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. Many of the same Illinois senators and representatives that voted against these anti-boycott bills in committee last year have voted for these bills this year.
* The difference this time around is that the bill is strongly supported by Gov. Bruce Rauner…
Requires the Illinois Investment Policy Board, by April 1, 2016, to make its best efforts to identify all Iran-restricted companies, Sudan-restricted companies, and companies that boycott Israel and to assemble those identified companies into a list of restricted companies. Defines “Iran-restricted company”, “Sudan-restricted company”, “company that boycotts Israel”, and “restricted companies”. Requires the Illinois Investment Policy Board to review the list of restricted companies on a quarterly basis. Requires State-funded retirement systems and the Illinois Board of Investment to identify restricted companies in which it owns either direct holdings or indirect holdings and, under certain circumstances, to divest from those restricted companies. Prohibits State-funded retirement systems and the Illinois Board of Investment from acquiring securities of restricted companies. Provides that the cost associated with the activities of the Illinois Investment Policy Board shall be borne by the boards of each pension fund or investment board created under the State Universities, Downstate Teachers, or Investment Board Article. Provides that actions taken in compliance with the amendatory Act are exempt from any conflicting statutory or common law obligations, including fiduciary duties. Provides that beginning January 1, 2016, certain Sections of the Code that prohibit investment in certain companies that do business with the Government of Iran and the Republic of the Sudan shall be administered in accordance with the amendatory Act. Contains a statement of legislative intent. Contains a severability clause. Makes other changes. Effective immediately.
* The measure passed the Senate 49-0, with three Democrats voting “Present” (Landek, Raoul, Van Pelt) and six Democrats and one Republican not voting (Bennett, Brady, Collins, Hutchinson, E. Jones, Sandoval, Stadelman).
The Middle East can bring out teh crazy in some people, so I’m only going to say this once: Confine yourselves solely to the content of the bill. Extremists will be deleted and then banned for life. No exceptions. No further warnings will be issued. This is a state politics blog, so let’s keep it that way. Thanks.
…Adding… The legislation may come up tonight…
Israeli Consulate holds Israel Independence Day celebration with Consul General of Israel to the Midwest Roey Gilad hosting Gov. Bruce Rauner as keynote speaker
WHAT: Israel’s 67th Anniversary reception and concert
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Monday, April 27, 2015
WHERE: Standard Club, 320 S. Plymouth Court
WHO: Consul General of Israel to the Midwest Roey Gilad
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez
Cong. Bill Foster
City of Chicago Aldermen and other elected officials
Members of the Consular Corps
Israeli ensemble Baladino and Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble
WHY: To celebrate Israel’s 67th Anniversary