Missouri Governor Signs Divestment Bill
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Gov. John Ashcroft signed a measure into law that requires the state’s largest pension funds to divest holdings in companies doing business in South Africa.
″As a people who believe in equal access, freedom of opportunity and justice for all, we are appalled by apartheid and racial discrimination wherever it exists,″ Ashcroft said Wednesday.
The measure affects funds from the Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System, three public school retirement systems and the Highway Employees and the Highway Patrol system. The systems would have to divest funds from companies in South Africa within five years.
Rep. William Clay, who sponsored the bill, said Missouri would join more than 20 states with similar laws.
The funds covered under the bill were estimated to have assets of about $6 billion, and investments in companies doing business in South Africa were estimated at $300 million to $700 million.
The state was expected to lose $700,000 to $1.2 million as a result of brokerage fees to sell the stock.