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A08011 Summary:

COSPNSRMosley, Fahy, Simon, Thiele, Gottfried, Seawright, O'Donnell, Steck, Englebright
Amd S423, R & SS L
Relates to limitations on investments of public pension funds.
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A08011 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2015-2016 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                      June 4, 2015
        Introduced  by M. of A. ORTIZ -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Governmental  Employees  --  committee  discharged,  bill  amended,
          ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
        AN  ACT  to amend the retirement and social security law, in relation to
          limitations on investments of public pension funds
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  This  act  shall be known and may be cited as the "fossil
     2  fuel divestment act".
     3    § 2. Section 423 of the retirement and social security law, as amended
     4  by chapter 770 of the laws of 1970, is amended to read as follows:
     5    § 423. Investments.   [a.] 1.  On  and  after  April  first,  nineteen
     6  hundred  sixty-seven,  the comptroller shall invest the available monies
     7  of the common retirement fund in any investments and securities  author-
     8  ized  by  law for each retirement system and shall hold such investments
     9  in his name as trustee of such fund, notwithstanding any other provision
    10  of this chapter. Participating interests in such  investments  shall  be
    11  credited  to each retirement system in the manner and at the time speci-
    12  fied in [paragraph] subdivision two of section four  hundred  twenty-two
    13  of this article.
    14    [b.]  2.  (a)  To assist in the management of the monies of the common
    15  retirement fund, the comptroller shall appoint  an  investment  advisory
    16  committee  consisting of not less than seven members who shall serve for
    17  his term of office. A vacancy occurring from any cause other than  expi-
    18  ration  of  term shall be filled by the comptroller for the remainder of
    19  the term. Each member of the committee shall be experienced in the field
    20  of investments and shall have served, or shall be serving, as  a  senior
    21  officer  or  member of the board of an insurance company, banking corpo-
    22  ration or other financial or investment organization  authorized  to  do
    23  business  in the state of New York. The committee shall advise the comp-
    24  troller on investment policies relating to  the  monies  of  the  common
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 8011--A                          2
     1  retirement  fund  and  shall  review,  from time to time, the investment
     2  portfolio of the fund and make such recommendations  as  may  be  deemed
     3  necessary.
     4    (b) The comptroller shall appoint a separate mortgage advisory commit-
     5  tee,  with  the advice and consent of the investment advisory committee,
     6  to review proposed mortgage and real estate investments  by  the  common
     7  retirement  fund. In making investments, as authorized by law, the comp-
     8  troller shall be guided by policies established by each  committee  from
     9  time  to  time; and, in the event the mortgage advisory committee disap-
    10  proves a proposed mortgage or real estate investment, such shall not  be
    11  made.
    12    (c)  No officer or employee of any state department or agency shall be
    13  eligible for  membership  on  either  committee.  Each  committee  shall
    14  convene  periodically  on  call  of  the  comptroller, or on call of the
    15  chairman. The members of each committee shall be entitled to  reimburse-
    16  ment  for  their  actual  and  necessary  expenses  but shall receive no
    17  compensation for their services.
    18    3. (a) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the comp-
    19  troller shall not have the power to invest the available monies  of  the
    20  common  retirement  fund  in any stocks, debt or other securities of any
    21  corporation or company, or any subsidiary, affiliate or  parent  of  any
    22  corporation  or  company,  among the two hundred largest publicly traded
    23  fossil fuel companies, as established by carbon content  in  the  compa-
    24  nies'  proven  oil,  gas  and  coal  reserves. The comptroller shall, in
    25  accordance with sound investment criteria and consistent with his or her
    26  fiduciary obligations, divest any such stocks or other securities wheth-
    27  er they are owned directly or held  through  separate  accounts  or  any
    28  commingled  funds.  Divestment  pursuant  to  this  subdivision  must be
    29  completed by January first, two thousand twenty, with the  exception  of
    30  companies  engaged  in  the  mining,  extraction  or production of coal,
    31  divestment from which must be completed no later than one year after the
    32  effective date of this subdivision.
    33    (b) The comptroller shall be permitted to cease divesting from  compa-
    34  nies under paragraph (a) of this subdivision, reinvest in companies from
    35  which  it  divested under paragraph (a) of this subdivision, or continue
    36  to invest in companies from which it has not yet divested upon clear and
    37  convincing evidence showing that as a direct result of such  divestment,
    38  the  total  and aggregate value of all assets under management by, or on
    39  behalf of, the common retirement fund becomes or shall become: (i) equal
    40  to or less than ninety-nine and one-half percent; or  (ii)  one  hundred
    41  percent  less fifty basis points of the hypothetical value of all assets
    42  under management by, or on behalf of, the common retirement fund  assum-
    43  ing no divestment from any company had occurred under said paragraph (a)
    44  of  this  subdivision.    Cessation  of  divestment, reinvestment or any
    45  subsequent ongoing  investment  authorized  by  this  section  shall  be
    46  strictly limited to the minimum steps necessary to avoid the contingency
    47  set  forth  in  the preceding sentence. For any cessation of divestment,
    48  and in advance of such cessation, authorized by  this  subdivision,  the
    49  comptroller  shall provide a written report to the attorney general, the
    50  senate standing committee on civil service and pensions, and the  assem-
    51  bly  standing committee on governmental employees, updated semi-annually
    52  thereafter as applicable, setting forth the reasons  and  justification,
    53  supported  by  clear and convincing evidence, for its decisions to cease
    54  divestment, to reinvest or to remain invested in fossil fuel companies.
    55    (c) Within sixty days of the effective date of this  subdivision,  the
    56  comptroller shall facilitate the identification of fossil fuel companies

        A. 8011--A                          3
     1  from  which the common retirement fund is required to divest under para-
     2  graph (a) of this subdivision, and file a copy of  this  list  with  the
     3  attorney  general,  the  senate  standing committee on civil service and
     4  pensions, and the assembly standing committee on governmental employees.
     5  Annually thereafter, the public fund shall file a report with the attor-
     6  ney  general,  the  senate  standing  committee  on  civil  service  and
     7  pensions, and the assembly standing committee on governmental  employees
     8  that includes: (i) all investments sold, redeemed, divested or withdrawn
     9  in  compliance  with  paragraph  (a)  of  this subdivision; and (ii) all
    10  prohibited investments from which the common retirement fund has not yet
    11  divested under paragraph (a) of this subdivision.
    12    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
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