Legislature(2007 - 2008)CAPITOL 106

02/09/2008 11:00 AM House STATE AFFAIRS

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HB 287-DIVEST INVESTMENTS IN SUDAN                                                                                            
12:10:11 PM                                                                                                                   
VICE CHAIR  ROSES announced that  the last order of  business was                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 287, "An  Act relating to certain  investments of                                                               
the Alaska  permanent fund, the  state's retirement  systems, the                                                               
State  of  Alaska Supplemental  Annuity  Plan,  and the  deferred                                                               
compensation  program for  state employees  in companies  that do                                                               
business in Sudan, and restricting those investments."                                                                          
12:10:56 PM                                                                                                                   
DIRK  MOFFATT,  Staff,  Representative  Bob  Lynn,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, introduced HB 287 on  behalf of Representative Lynn,                                                               
co-prime  sponsor.   He presented  the  sponsor statement,  which                                                               
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
     Alaska should  not invest money in  companies that have                                                                    
     a  business relationship  and  are  complicit with  the                                                                    
     Sudanese Government's policy of  genocide in the Darfur                                                                    
     region of Western Sudan.                                                                                                   
     More  than   400,000  people   have  been   killed,  an                                                                    
     additional  2.5 million  have  been  forced from  their                                                                    
     homes, and untold thousands of  women and children have                                                                    
     been abducted  and raped, since Sudan  began sponsoring                                                                    
     attacks on innocent civilians in Darfur.                                                                                   
     On July 22,  2004 the U.S. Congress  declared that "the                                                                    
     atrocities  unfolding in  Darfur, Sudan  are genocide."                                                                    
     This  is the  first  time in  history  that the  United                                                                    
     States  government has  recognized genocide  while it's                                                                    
     still occurring.                                                                                                           
     HB  287  mandates  targeted  divestment  and  prohibits                                                                    
     future investment of the state  managed PFD and Pension                                                                    
     funds  in  targeted  companies that  do  business  with                                                                    
     Sudan. The overall objective of  this legislation is to                                                                    
     pressure   Sudan  economically   until  it   ends  it's                                                                    
     genocide in Darfur.                                                                                                        
     There are few things an  individual state can do to end                                                                    
     genocide.   Targeted   Divestment  is   one   promising                                                                    
     strategy  to  do  just   that:  Pressure  the  Sudanese                                                                    
     government to  end it's genocide  in Darfur.  The State                                                                    
     of Alaska  can do this  with slim  to no impact  on the                                                                    
     fund  manager's  wise   investment  mandate  to  invest                                                                    
     principal while maximizing total return.                                                                                   
     Alaska  has very  little invested  in  Sudan, about  36                                                                    
     million, or 0.1% of total  assets and it's important to                                                                    
     note  that none  of the  targeted businesses  currently                                                                    
     operating in Sudan are American.                                                                                           
     U.S.  Senator  Sam   Brownback  and  former  republican                                                                    
     presidential candidate, said:  "We've said often 'never                                                                    
     again' and taken  up the pledge of 'not  on our watch.'                                                                    
     We  also need  to take  up the  pledge of  'not on  our                                                                    
     To date,  20 states  have already divested  assets from                                                                    
     companies doing business with  the government of Sudan.                                                                    
     Alaska  is the  49th State  to join  the union,  but it                                                                    
     should not be the last to  say: "No to genocide, not on                                                                    
     our dime."                                                                                                                 
12:13:46 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN asked  if any of the 20  states that have                                                               
divested   have  an   entity  similar   to  the   Permanent  Fund                                                               
12:13:58 PM                                                                                                                   
MR. MOFFATT offered his understanding that the answer is no.                                                                    
12:14:24 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN  noted  that the  Genocide  Intervention                                                               
Network's (GI-Net's) web site lists  eight areas in the world [in                                                               
addition to  Darfur] that  are trouble spots:   Iraq,  Burma, Sri                                                               
Lanka, Somalia, Kenya, the Democratic  Republic of Congo, Central                                                               
African Republic,  and Chad.  He  asked if the bill  sponsors had                                                               
considered offering  legislation that would guide  the investment                                                               
policy [of  the Permanent Fund Corporation]  rather than singling                                                               
out [Sudan] in statute.                                                                                                         
12:15:32 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE LES  GARA, Alaska  State Legislature,  as co-prime                                                               
sponsor  of HB  287, responded  that there  is no  atrocity worse                                                               
than  genocide,  and both  the  United  States Congress  and  the                                                               
President  of the  United  States have  determined  that what  is                                                               
going on in  Darfur is genocide.  By focusing  on the genocide in                                                               
Sudan,  the bill  targets  a "discreet  number  of companies"  to                                                               
divest in Sudan.   He said 70  percent of the money  that is used                                                               
by the  military in Sudan  to commit genocide comes  from Sudan's                                                               
oil  revenues  and  tax  revenue.     The  bill  targets  mineral                                                               
companies  primarily,  none of  which  are  American, because  by                                                               
federal  law,  no  U.S.  company is  allowed  to  participate  in                                                               
activities which support  Sudan's genocide.  He  pointed out that                                                               
BP runs  gasoline stations  in Sudan, but  the bill  is carefully                                                               
targeted  to  not  take  away  investments  from  companies  that                                                               
produce   consumer  goods.     In   response  to   Representative                                                               
Johansen's previous question, he said  other states do not have a                                                               
permanent fund; however, they have  entities that are banned from                                                               
investing in companies that support the genocide in Sudan.                                                                      
12:19:20 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA,  in  response to  Representative  Johansen,                                                               
clarified  that   the  co-prime  sponsors  have   not  considered                                                               
including the  aforementioned other  countries in  the bill.   He                                                               
reiterated  that  Sudan's  situation is  the  greatest  atrocity:                                                               
200,000 have  been killed  and 2 million  stuck in  refugee camps                                                               
where  they don't  have water  or food.   He  stated, "You  don't                                                               
decide  not to  solve  a  problem just  because  there are  other                                                               
problems  that  you're  not  solving."    He  said  the  co-prime                                                               
sponsors  have   avoided  "going   down  a  slippery   slope"  by                                                               
identifying what  they think  is the most  crucial focus  for the                                                               
bill.    He said  there  are  a  number  of companies  that  have                                                               
divested in Sudan since this  movement has begun.  Representative                                                               
Gara said  he thinks Alaska  can make  a difference.   He stated,                                                               
"You never  know what your  impact is  on the world  by yourself,                                                               
but you know when you join with others, there is an impact."                                                                    
12:21:34 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN  explained that  it is difficult  for him                                                               
to figure  out who is  going to make  the call regarding  what is                                                               
atrocious enough  to be  included in  a proposed  bill.   That is                                                               
what the slippery  slope is, he said.   He expressed appreciation                                                               
for the work of both co-prime  sponsors in bringing HB 287 before                                                               
the committee.                                                                                                                  
12:22:04 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON asked  whether  BP would be targeted if it                                                               
is discovered that the military [in  Sudan] is using BP's gas for                                                               
its vehicles.                                                                                                                   
12:22:16 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE GARA reiterated that  the proposed bill lists only                                                               
those  companies that  are providing  resources and  equipment to                                                               
the Sudanese government; BP is providing consumer goods.                                                                        
12:23:07 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   GARA,   in   response   to   a   question   from                                                               
Representative  Johnson, said  he does  not know  how many  other                                                               
states have  gone on to  include other countries  for divestment.                                                               
He noted that in the  past the disinvestment movement was focused                                                               
on South Africa, during apartheid.                                                                                              
12:24:12 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  offered his understanding that  there are                                                               
six  other states  or funds  that have  included other  areas for                                                               
divestment.      He  stated   his   concern   is  regarding   the                                                               
aforementioned  slippery slope,  he mentioned  issues related  to                                                               
abortion  and hospitals,  and  he indicated  that  he has  doubts                                                               
about the  wisdom of  the legislature  involving itself  with the                                                               
issue of  investing.   He said  [what is  happening in  Sudan] is                                                               
heartbreaking and  terrible, but  he is  concerned that  once the                                                               
legislature starts directing investment  based on politics, there                                                               
will be no end in sight.                                                                                                        
12:26:27 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  DOLL said  she  understands where  Representative                                                               
Johnson is "coming  from."  She spoke about embargos.   She said,                                                               
"See  where the  power's coming  from, and  ... usually  it comes                                                               
from the  giving of money."   She said, "So, I  am sympathetic to                                                               
this and I'm looking forward to further testifying today."                                                                      
12:27:51 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   GARA  told   Representative   Johnson  that   he                                                               
understands  the slippery  slope,  which is,  he explained,  "why                                                               
we're not  walking on it."   The bill is purposely  being limited                                                               
to address one  country.  He stated, "The people  of the state of                                                               
Alaska  I don't  think want  to make  money off  of genocide  and                                                               
right now  we are."  Other  legislation can be filed  to regulate                                                               
other issues.   He  said, "...  You'll find  out that  the things                                                               
that are less  important, that involve less  violence, that don't                                                               
involve genocide are  [going to be] much  more controversial; but                                                               
this  is  genocide,  and  this  one,  I  think,  should  be  less                                                               
12:28:27 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON responded that he could line up people to                                                                
testify that abortion is genocide.                                                                                              
12:29:00 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   GARA,   in   response   to   a   question   from                                                               
Representative Johnson, stated:                                                                                                 
     It's  not  just  support  of the  military  that  we're                                                                    
     saying  is  the  criteria  for  deciding  whether  your                                                                    
     company  is on  the  bad  list.   It's  support of  the                                                                    
     government.  But, ... given  that the major support for                                                                    
     the  government is  through mineral  revenue in  Sudan,                                                                    
     ... it's  partially the extracting companies  that have                                                                    
     chosen to  help make money  off the genocide  in Sudan.                                                                    
     There are other places to invest in the world.                                                                             
     ... Companies  ... often cannot decide  where to invest                                                                    
     based  on  a  social  conscience.   ...  The  corporate                                                                    
     charter  in  every state  says  the  companies have  to                                                                    
     maximize the benefit of  their shareholders; it doesn't                                                                    
     say they have to  make philosophical decisions.  That's                                                                    
     our job.   ... But the  definition is:  support  of the                                                                    
     Sudanese government  in a way  that helps  the Sudanese                                                                    
     government  engage  in  the   genocide.    It  excludes                                                                    
     consumer  goods;  it  excludes companies  that  provide                                                                    
     humanitarian  help;  it  excludes  companies  that  are                                                                    
     doing  things that  are not  support  for the  Sudanese                                                                    
     government  that  relates  to   the  funding  of  their                                                                    
     And the other  states that have done  this have largely                                                                    
     adopted  language similar  to ours.   Some  have banned                                                                    
     all investments in  Sudan, but that's ...  messy - then                                                                    
     all  of   a  sudden   you're  banning   investments  in                                                                    
     companies that  are providing  services that  people in                                                                    
     Sudan rely on.                                                                                                             
12:30:33 PM                                                                                                                   
VICE CHAIR  ROSES asked,  "Were these  six companies  that you're                                                               
targeting investing in  that company prior to  ... the atrocities                                                               
reaching to the level of concern that they've reached?"                                                                         
12:30:43 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE GARA said he does  not know how long the companies                                                               
have  been  involved in  Sudan,  but  it  is only  recently  that                                                               
pressure has been applied through  legislation.  He outlined that                                                               
genocide started  in 2003, and  other states began  enacting laws                                                               
in 2006.   Those  laws tend to  have a lag  period of  18 months,                                                               
with the exception of executive orders.                                                                                         
12:31:19 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE ROSES  indicated that  companies that  began their                                                               
business with  Sudan after the  atrocities began  certainly would                                                               
be directly involved with funding the genocide.                                                                                 
12:32:02 PM                                                                                                                   
KELLY NIXON read her testimony as follows:                                                                                      
     I  am a  member of  Save Darfur  Anchorage.   Our group                                                                    
     consists   of   Alaskans   from  the   communities   of                                                                    
     Anchorage,  Eagle  River,   and  Wasilla,  who  believe                                                                    
     strongly that  we have an ethical  responsibility to do                                                                    
     what we can to end the Darfur genocides.                                                                                   
     The  government   in  Sudan  continues  to   refuse  to                                                                    
     cooperate with the United  Nations, and the instability                                                                    
     in  the  Darfur  Region has  caused  most  humanitarian                                                                    
     efforts to  pull out.   There are, therefore,  very few                                                                    
     avenues  for facilitating  an end  to this  genocide or                                                                    
     offering  support to  the people  of Darfur.   Targeted                                                                    
     divestment is one of the few.                                                                                              
     This international effort  acknowledges the debt-ridden                                                                    
     government  of  Sudan's   reliance  on  foreign  direct                                                                    
     investment  to  finance   its  military  and  Janjaweed                                                                    
     militias and goes after the  foreign companies that are                                                                    
     most  egregious   in  their  support  of   the  current                                                                    
     Khartoum regime without sacrificing investment profit.                                                                     
     So far,  22 states  have adopted  a policy  of targeted                                                                    
     divestment,  and 17  others will  consider this  policy                                                                    
     this  year.    Through   targeted  divestment,  we  can                                                                    
     collectively  exert enough  pressure on  the government                                                                    
     of Sudan  through these foreign  companies to  compel a                                                                    
     shift  in focus  from destruction  and annihilation  to                                                                    
     one of stability.                                                                                                          
     We understand that some perceive  HB 287 as a threat to                                                                    
     how  our   state  invests.     We  know   that  there's                                                                    
     resistance to  passing this legislation.   But  we ask,                                                                    
     as you consider HB 287,  that you remain mindful of how                                                                    
     easily  our state  can implement  this  policy and  how                                                                    
     truly horrific genocide is.                                                                                                
     Genocide calls for  all of us to look hard  and deep at                                                                    
     ourselves  - at  our actions  and inactions  - and  ask                                                                    
     ourselves if  we, as humans,  are doing what we  can to                                                                    
     fight against it.  Are  we offering support, relief, or                                                                    
     hope  to the  people of  Darfur,  who are  right now  -                                                                    
     right  this  minute  - facing  a  very  deliberate  and                                                                    
     systematic  destruction  of  their  culture  and  their                                                                    
     lives.   This genocide will  end one day, and  the true                                                                    
     horrors  faced   by  the  millions  affected   will  be                                                                    
     revealed.   Many  Americans will  reflect on  this time                                                                    
     and will wish  they had done more - that  they had done                                                                    
     something - but at that point  it will be too late.  We                                                                    
     hope that  when that day of  reflection comes, Alaskans                                                                    
     will  be able  to  say  proudly that  we  took a  stand                                                                    
     against genocide.                                                                                                          
12:35:14 PM                                                                                                                   
TAMAR SHAI, noted that she is  a member of Save Darfur Anchorage.                                                               
She said she  thinks it can be difficult to  imagine the death of                                                               
hundreds  of thousands  or  the displacement  of  millions.   She                                                               
proffered that what helps her to do  so is to imagine a woman her                                                               
own  age, who  is also  married and  has children,  and to  think                                                               
about what  that woman's days are  like living in a  refugee camp                                                               
with an older  daughter, having lived through  the beating deaths                                                               
of her husband, older sons, and  infant.  Ms. Shai said that this                                                               
woman's refugee  camp is not safe,  because if she goes  past the                                                               
periphery of  the camp  to find  water or  wood, she  risks being                                                               
gang  raped  by those  same  men  who  murdered her  husband  and                                                               
children.   Ms.  Tamar  said  she focuses  on  that scenario  and                                                               
multiplies it by a million.                                                                                                     
MS.  SHAI  said  a  lesson   from  the  Holocaust  is  that  "the                                                               
perpetrators of  genocide depend on  good people standing  by and                                                               
allowing the  atrocities to happen."   She said the  president of                                                               
Sudan  needs people  to  ignore  what is  going  on  in order  to                                                               
systematically eliminate the people of Darfur.                                                                                  
MS. SHAI  said she understands  that management of  the permanent                                                               
fund  is complex,  and that  it is  the role  of the  managers to                                                               
maximize   profits  for   the  people   of  Alaska.     Regarding                                                               
[Representative Johnson's] previously  stated comment regarding a                                                               
"slippery slope," she stated:                                                                                                   
     You may be  able to find people who  feel that abortion                                                                    
     is  genocide  or think  that  we  should include  other                                                                    
     atrocities,  but our  President and  the U.S.  Congress                                                                    
     have declared Darfur and only  Darfur to be a genocide.                                                                    
     That's where the slippery slope can stop.                                                                                  
     So, my  question:  Is  there nothing really  too awful,                                                                    
     too  cruel,  or  too  inhumane for  us  to  financially                                                                    
     support?   Isn't genocide in a  class of its own?   And                                                                    
     if  the permanent  fund had  been operating  during the                                                                    
     Holocaust,  would   we  have  invested  in   the  final                                                                    
     solution, so long  as it was profitable?   One thing is                                                                    
     for certain:   history is going  to judge us.   Will we                                                                    
     be viewed as profiteers of  ethnic cleansing or will we                                                                    
     be  remembered  as  a  community  that  refused  to  be                                                                    
     exploited by the perpetrators of genocide?                                                                                 
MS.  SHAI described  herself as  a typical  Alaskan who  likes to                                                               
receive a  permanent fund dividend (PFD).   She said some  of her                                                               
PFD  money will  be financing  her children's  college education,                                                               
and  she  requested,  "Don't  let their  future  be  financed  by                                                               
12:38:45 PM                                                                                                                   
MAX  CROES, Divestment  Associate, Genocide  Intervention Network                                                               
(GI-Net),  testifying on  behalf  of GI-Net,  told the  committee                                                               
that of the eight countries listed  on GI-Net's web site as being                                                               
in  conflict [other  than Sudan,  as previously  noted], none  of                                                               
those  conflicts   have  been  categorized  as   genocide.    The                                                               
situation  in Darfur  is unique  because the  federal government,                                                               
the President,  and Congress have  all declared that  the ongoing                                                               
atrocities in  Darfur are genocide.   He stated that this  is the                                                               
only time  in American history  that such a declaration  has been                                                               
made; it  was not  declared during the  Holocaust or  the Rwandan                                                               
MR. CROES, regarding the identification of companies and the                                                                    
efficacy of divestment, stated:                                                                                                 
     This  is not  a  feel-good action.   Nine  corporations                                                                    
     have withdrawn or  substantially altered their policies                                                                    
     in  Darfur and  throughout  Sudan to  reflect the  fact                                                                    
     that  their contributions  to  the Sudanese  government                                                                    
     may  be  and  probably   are  being  funneled  directly                                                                    
     through  the Sudanese  military  to  wage the  campaign                                                                    
     there.  These  corporations have developed humanitarian                                                                    
     programs or  refused to  continue offering  their money                                                                    
     to the government of Sudan.                                                                                                
     As everyone  in Alaska I'm  sure knows, every  time the                                                                    
     pipeline doesn't  transit oil,  the state  loses money.                                                                    
     And  similarly,  the  government of  Sudan  knows  that                                                                    
     every  time a  corporation pulls  out or  restricts its                                                                    
     access to their markets, ...  they, as well, lose money                                                                    
     and lose  the ability to  wage the genocide  in Darfur.                                                                    
     Companies  are  targeted  on three  criteria  that  are                                                                    
     specifically  noted:    First,   whether  or  not  they                                                                    
     contract with the government of  Sudan or its projects;                                                                    
     second,  whether   or  not  they  assist   any  of  the                                                                    
     marginalized populations  in Sudan; and  third, whether                                                                    
     or not  they address  specifically the fact  that their                                                                    
     dollars could be contributed to the genocide there.                                                                        
     The  example  that we  can  pull  out  of this  is,  of                                                                    
     course, the  BP reference  that was  made earlier.   We                                                                    
     could draw  a similar analogy  to Coca Cola:   Does the                                                                    
     Sudanese government  and the military drink  Coca Cola?                                                                    
     Most likely  they do.   But the situation is  that Coca                                                                    
     Cola does not contract  directly with the government of                                                                    
     Sudan  and does  not  contribute their  profits to  the                                                                    
     genocide  in  Darfur.   Specifically,  what  we  do  is                                                                    
     target those  corporations, and as  we see  through the                                                                    
     holding in  the permanent  fund, this is  [a] miniscule                                                                    
     amount that is capable of being divested.                                                                                  
     I think that one of  the major things we should address                                                                    
     is that  this is  a policy  that's effective  at ending                                                                    
     the genocide  in Darfur, and  also one that  can safely                                                                    
     and responsibly be  implemented without harming returns                                                                    
     of the permanent fund or any other organization.                                                                           
12:41:28 PM                                                                                                                   
NINA McMURRY,  Divestment Analyst, Genocide  Intervention Network                                                               
(GI-Net),  indicated that  although there  are "some  other calls                                                               
for  divestment" and  "potential  other  issues where  divestment                                                               
could come  up," targeted Sudan  divestment is the  only strategy                                                               
that has been explicitly authorized  the U.S. Government with the                                                               
recent  passage  and  signing of  the  Sudan  Accountability  and                                                               
Divestment  Act,  which  she   said  "explicitly  encourages  and                                                               
authorized states  to enact targeted  Sudan divestment  along the                                                               
same lines as HB 287."                                                                                                          
12:42:59 PM                                                                                                                   
LAUREN  TIBBITTS-TRAVIS, President,  Students Taking  Action Now:                                                               
Darfur (STAND) - Juneau Chapter,  testified on behalf of Students                                                               
Taking  Action Now:   Darfur  (STAND).   She  indicated that  her                                                               
father  taught her  that actions  speak louder  than words.   She                                                               
emphasized the  importance of taking  action to effect  change in                                                               
Darfur.    She  mentioned  divesting in  companies  that  support                                                               
genocide in  Darfur.  Ms.  Tibbitts-Travis defined murder  as the                                                               
killing of  a person.   She emphasized  the importance  of making                                                               
others  aware   that  the  permanent   fund  investment   is  not                                                               
necessarily  funding genocide,  but  it funds  companies that  do                                                               
support genocide.   Pulling  out from  those companies  will free                                                               
the state from guilt.   She described the atrocities taking place                                                               
in Darfur,  telling the  committee that  everyone there  is being                                                               
systematically killed for  no other reason than that  they are of                                                               
the  Black   African  race  and  practice   either  Christianity,                                                               
Animism, or traditional tribal spirituality  in a country that is                                                               
mainly Islamic.  She talked about  the PFD as being a legacy that                                                               
will  be  passed down  through  generations,  and reiterated  her                                                               
request that none  of the money earned in the  fund be associated                                                               
with the genocide in Darfur.                                                                                                    
12:46:51 PM                                                                                                                   
VICE CHAIR  ROSES told Ms.  Tibbitts Travis that  she represented                                                               
the students well and he  hopes she will encourage other students                                                               
to get involved.                                                                                                                
12:47:18 PM                                                                                                                   
MICHAEL  SCHULDINER, Member,  Representative  Assembly of  United                                                               
Academics     -     American    Association     of     University                                                               
Professors/American  Federation  of   Teachers  (AAUP/AFT)  Local                                                               
4996, testifying on  behalf of AAUP/AFT, told  the committee that                                                               
it  could inspire  moral  integrity in  today's  students by  its                                                               
actions today.   He said  he teaches Holocaust literature,  so he                                                               
is "close"  to the issue at  hand.  Mr. Schuldiner  revealed that                                                               
his  parents  lived  through  the  Holocaust;  his  in-laws  were                                                               
Auschwitz survivors.   He  stated, "The  way genocide  happens is                                                               
when good people like yourselves stand by and do nothing."                                                                      
MR. SCHULDINER cited a resolution passed by the United Academics                                                                
AAUP/AFT, which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                
     WHEREAS  the  government  of Sudan  has  engaged  in  a                                                                    
     policy of genocide against its  own civilians in Darfur                                                                    
     through   the  use   of   its   military  and   through                                                                    
     sponsorship  of  attacks  by armed  militias  known  as                                                                    
     janjaweed; and                                                                                                             
     WHEREAS  the janjaweed  and  military  of the  Sudanese                                                                    
     government  are  responsible  for razing  over  80%  of                                                                    
     Darfur's villages,  gang-raping civilians, slaughtering                                                                    
     a minimum  of 200,000  victims, displacing  2.5 million                                                                    
     more, using forced  starvation as a weapon  of war, and                                                                    
     impeding access  of humanitarian aid  to the up  to 3.5                                                                    
     million Darfurians that are  now reliant on assistance;                                                                    
     WHEREAS the Sudanese  government and janjaweed militias                                                                    
     have  continued their  attacks despite  the signing  of                                                                    
     the Darfur Peace Agreement; and                                                                                            
     WHEREAS  the Darfur  crisis represents  the first  time                                                                    
     that the  US Congress, State Department,  and President                                                                    
     have  declared  a  genocide while  the  atrocities  are                                                                    
     ongoing; and                                                                                                               
     WHEREAS the  International Criminal Court in  The Hague                                                                    
     has  charged  Sudanese  officials  with  51  counts  of                                                                    
     crimes  against  humanity  and war  crimes  in  Darfur,                                                                    
     including  the murder,  rape, torture,  and persecution                                                                    
     of civilians;                                                                                                              
     WHEREAS  certain international  companies operating  in                                                                    
     Sudan  bring significant  revenue, cover,  and arms  to                                                                    
     the Sudanese government  while providing little benefit                                                                    
     to the majority of Sudan's citizen; and                                                                                    
     WHEREAS Khartoum  has funneled the majority  of foreign                                                                    
     direct  investment from  these companies  into military                                                                    
     expenditures  used  to  perpetuate the  genocide  while                                                                    
     neglecting  needed development  projects in  the Darfur                                                                    
     region; and                                                                                                                
     WHEREAS  the  current  Sudan  divestment  movement  now                                                                    
     encompasses  nearly 100  universities, cities,  states,                                                                    
     and private pension plans.                                                                                                 
     WHEREAS the divestment movement  has already gained the                                                                    
     attention of  the Sudanese  government and  altered the                                                                    
     behavior of some companies operating in Sudan;                                                                             
     WHEREAS  House  Bill  NO. 287,  introduced  January  4,                                                                    
     2008, in  the Legislature of  the State of Alaska  is a                                                                    
     bill  for "An  Act relating  to certain  investments of                                                                    
     the  Alaska  permanent  fund,  the  state's  retirement                                                                    
     systems,  the  State  of  Alaska  Supplemental  Annuity                                                                    
     Plan, and  the deferred compensation program  for state                                                                    
     employees in  companies that do business  in Sudan, and                                                                    
     restricting those investments";                                                                                            
     THEREFORE,  BE  IT   RESOLVED  that  United  Academics-                                                                    
     AAUP/AFT,  representing   the  upper-division  teaching                                                                    
     faculty  and  research  faculty of  the  University  of                                                                    
     Alaska system,  support the passage  of House  Bill No.                                                                    
     287,   introduced  in   2008   into  the   Twenty-Fifth                                                                    
     Legislative  Session-Second  Session  of the  State  of                                                                    
12:53:36 PM                                                                                                                   
PATRICIA MOSS,  testifying on behalf  of herself, noted  that she                                                               
founded an international writers'  group called, "When Does Never                                                               
Again Begin,"  the name  of which  she indicated  was posed  as a                                                               
question from her son after he  had studied the Holocaust and the                                                               
Rwanda  genocide."    In  response  to  Representative  Johnson's                                                               
previously  stated concern  about  avoiding a  slippery slope  in                                                               
terms of the State of Alaska's  involvement, she said, "This is a                                                               
divestment issue, and  ... our money is involved, as  we all well                                                               
know."  She continued:                                                                                                          
     The people  of Alaska want to  know:  Will you  make us                                                                    
     financially  complicit in  a  genocide  by refusing  to                                                                    
     divest from Sudan?  Will you  force us to be the German                                                                    
     village with  ashes of our  complicity falling  upon us                                                                    
     through  daily  media  reports   and  through  our  PFD                                                                    
     checks?   Is  part of  our children's  inheritance from                                                                    
     Alaska going to be the  ... same sort of knowledge that                                                                    
     weighs upon  the hearts  of the people  of Europe?   Or                                                                    
     will  you  act  as  liberators of  the  Darfur  victims                                                                    
     through targeted divestment?                                                                                               
     May I  suggest that  applying the  multiplication table                                                                    
     to  a  genocide could  be  viewed  as immoral  in  post                                                                    
     legislation debates should you  fail to pass this bill.                                                                    
     And may  I also  suggest that the  ... issue  of future                                                                    
     reparations  is  a major  liability  for  the State  of                                                                    
     Alaska and a  reality in the post  situations for other                                                                    
     genocidal events.                                                                                                          
     The  people  of Alaska  do  not  support genocide;  the                                                                    
     people of Alaska  did not support the  Holocaust.  Will                                                                    
     you associate  your good  names and  the good  names of                                                                    
     your  constituents  with   financial  support  for  the                                                                    
     genocidal policies of ... Sudan,  when 22 others states                                                                    
     have  chosen to  divest?   If the  accountants for  the                                                                    
     State of  Alaska are  savvy enough  to create  a wealth                                                                    
     equal  to  the ninth  richest  country  on earth,  then                                                                    
     surely  they  can  recover ...  the  $10  million  risk                                                                    
     associated in  the language opposing this  action.  You                                                                    
     have  a responsibility  to protect  and to  oversee the                                                                    
     applications of  the moral principles of  the people of                                                                    
     This  bill is  not a  profit and  loss decision;  it is                                                                    
     about who  we are, whether  we are arrogant  or whether                                                                    
     we are  compassionate.   Please keep  in mind  that all                                                                    
     that is necessary  for the triumph of evil  is for good                                                                    
     men to  do nothing.  When  does never again begin?   In                                                                    
     this  matter  before  you,  I want  it  to  begin  with                                                                    
     divestment, and I ask you support this bill.                                                                               
12:57:46 PM                                                                                                                   
ROGER A. SEVERSON,  testifying on behalf of  himself, stated that                                                               
what  impresses him  about  HB 287  is  that "it  seems  to be  a                                                               
surgical strike"  of six companies.   He said he thinks  it makes                                                               
sense to  do that.   He said he does  not want to  offend anyone,                                                               
but the  proposed legislation is  "a no-brainer."   He explained,                                                               
"We   can't  really   continue  activities   that  propagate   or                                                               
perpetuate  this  kind of  behavior  in  Darfur, and  frankly,  I                                                               
think,  elsewhere as  well."   He encouraged  the legislature  to                                                               
pass HB 287.                                                                                                                    
12:58:54 PM                                                                                                                   
LINDA LAYFIELD, testifying on behalf  of herself, said she thinks                                                               
previous  testimony  has  made  it  abundantly  clear  that  "the                                                               
situation in  Darfur is the  greatest atrocity that  is happening                                                               
in  the world  today."   She  expressed gratitude  that the  U.S.                                                               
Government  has declared  the situation  in  Darfur as  genocide.                                                               
She emphasized  the time-sensitive  nature of the  issue, stating                                                               
that she does not think there  is time to consider other versions                                                               
of the bill or to add other  countries to the bill language.  She                                                               
reminded the  committee that  although it took  only 90  days for                                                               
approximately one million people to  be killed in Rwanda in 1994,                                                               
the  atrocities  really  started  in  1988  and  continued  clear                                                               
through to  2002.  She  said she  thinks the situation  in Darfur                                                               
had been worsening for some time  before it came to the attention                                                               
of  the U.S.  Government.   She  said  already approximately  one                                                               
quarter the number  of people who were killed in  Rwanda has been                                                               
killed  in  Sudan,  and  she warned  against  waiting  for  those                                                               
numbers to increase to the point that  they may be as great as or                                                               
greater than the numbers of those  killed in Rwanda.  She said in                                                               
Rwanda today, there  are "grim reminders of  the shameful neglect                                                               
of  the  Western  World  in not  recognizing  the  genocide  that                                                               
happened there."                                                                                                                
MS. LAYFIELD  shared that she  had attended the Olympic  Games in                                                               
Munich.   The day after  the Israeli athletes were  killed, there                                                               
was a moratorium whereby every event  was pushed a day later.  On                                                               
that  day, she  related, she  visited  the museum  at the  Dachau                                                               
concentration camp, where she read  a quote by [George Santayana,                                                               
from  The Life  of Reason,  Volume  1], which  read: ["Those  who                                                               
cannot remember the past are condemned  to repeat it."]  She said                                                               
the  proposed legislation  offers the  opportunity for  Alaska to                                                               
not  allow the  world to  repeat what  happened in  Rwanda.   She                                                               
stated that she is great  believer that "every little bit helps,"                                                               
and she urged the committee to support the passage of the bill.                                                                 
1:02:54 PM                                                                                                                    
JOYANNE BLOOM, Board Member, American  Jewish World Service, told                                                               
the  committee  that the  American  Jewish  World Service  is  an                                                               
organization  that has  been  a  leader in  the  movement to  end                                                               
genocide  in   Darfur  and   was  one   of  the   first  national                                                               
organizations  to endorse  targeted divestment  from Sudan.   She                                                               
said  her   involvement  with  this   issue  has  taken   her  to                                                               
Washington, D.C.  and New  York, and now  before the  House State                                                               
Affairs Standing  Committee.  She showed  the committee bracelets                                                               
and a pin that she has  received [that promote the abolishment of                                                               
genocide], and  she said although  these items may  be considered                                                               
gimmicky,  what the  House State  Affairs  Standing Committee  is                                                               
doing  by  considering HB  287  is  not  gimmicky.   She  stated,                                                               
"You're letting the world know that  Alaska will not be silent in                                                               
the face of  crimes against humanity; that it's not  okay to fund                                                               
companies whose  business with the  Sudanese government  helps to                                                               
fuel a genocide that has taken  the lives of ... at least 200,000                                                               
people and  cause 2.5 million people  to lose their homes  and to                                                               
live in fear of their lives every day.                                                                                          
MS. BLOOM  opined that the  fiscal note  attached to the  bill is                                                               
absurd.  She admitted that she  is not an economist, but said the                                                               
estimated cost of  $10-$14 million to divest  less than one-tenth                                                               
of one percent  of [the permanent fund's]  portfolio "sounds like                                                               
gobble-dee-gook math."  She said  she understands that [those who                                                               
manage]  the  permanent  fund  do  not wish  to  be  dictated  by                                                               
political whims,  but HB  287 is  about ethics,  not whims.   Ms.                                                               
Bloom posited  that Alaskans want  to show  that they can  do the                                                               
ethical thing, and  they want to join the  federal government and                                                               
the 22  other states that have  done their part to  intensify the                                                               
pressure on  the Sudanese  government to end  genocide now.   She                                                               
     I've lost  family members in another  genocide, and I'm                                                                    
     here to  bear witness.   Please, let's do what  ever we                                                                    
     can  - big  and  small, directly  and indirectly,  with                                                                    
     words  and  with dollars  -  to  stop the  genocide  in                                                                    
1:07:32 PM                                                                                                                    
ASHLEY STRALEY testified that each  person has the responsibility                                                               
to "acknowledge the fact that there's  a genocide going on."  She                                                               
said HB 287 is a good  bill, although she indicated that she does                                                               
not think the  fiscal note should reflect such a  high cost.  She                                                               
said Alaskans  take pride in  receiving their PFDs;  however, she                                                               
does not think they would  approve of earning PFD dollars through                                                               
investments made in companies that support genocide.                                                                            
1:09:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN  noted that Ms.  Straley had worked  as a                                                               
page for the legislature.                                                                                                       
1:10:38 PM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL  J.  BURNS,  Executive Director,  Alaska  Permanent  Fund                                                               
Corporation, Department of Revenue,  relayed that the corporation                                                               
appreciates the sponsor's motivation  in introducing the proposed                                                               
legislation.  He stated that  the corporation respects that it is                                                               
the  prerogative of  the legislature  to  direct the  corporation                                                               
regarding its  investments in the  permanent fund.  He  said, "If                                                               
the legislature directs  the trustees and staff  to divest assets                                                               
from the fund  in the manner prescribed in this  bill, we will do                                                               
so; however, we urge you not to take this step."  He continued:                                                                 
     In 30  years, the Alaska  Permanent Fund has  only been                                                                    
     invested  for the  financial benefit  of the  people of                                                                    
     Alaska  and  never  to  enact  a  social  or  political                                                                    
     agenda.   Placing a social investment  directive on the                                                                    
     fund  would  be  a  significant   change  to  our  core                                                                    
     mission.  We believe that  the prudent course of action                                                                    
     is to  make investment  decisions on  strictly economic                                                                    
     grounds,  and   we  do  not  believe   that  investment                                                                    
     decisions made  for social or political  reasons are in                                                                    
     the best interest of the permanent fund.                                                                                   
     After  the  question of  prudence  is  the question  of                                                                    
     efficacy.    We  are  discouraged at  the  prospect  of                                                                    
     placing   a  socially   motivated   directive  on   the                                                                    
     permanent fund - a directive  that will have some costs                                                                    
     - when  we have  not seen  definitive proof  that these                                                                    
     divestment efforts are effective.                                                                                          
MR.  BURNS noted  that  included  in the  committee  packet is  a                                                               
summary   [from  the   second  page   of  the   segment  of   the                                                               
corporation's   handouts  entitled,   "The  Effect   of  Socially                                                               
Activist Investment Policies on  the Financial Markets:  Evidence                                                               
from  the South  African Boycott."]   He  said, "The  researchers                                                               
concluded  that it  was  not divestment,  but  rather many  other                                                               
forms  of  pressure   brought  to  bear  on   the  South  African                                                               
government that caused a change in their practices.                                                                             
MR. BURNS said both the U.S.  Department of Treasury and the U.S.                                                               
Department of  State are actively  involved in bringing  about an                                                               
end  to the  genocide in  Darfur, and  he said  he would  like to                                                               
"touch  on  some   concerns  held"  by  both   departments.    He                                                               
     We  don't  speak  for  these   ...  agencies  ...,  but                                                                    
     choosing   to  enact   divestment   legislation  is   a                                                                    
     significant  decision  that  will  affect  our  state's                                                                    
     investments  and  investment  policies  well  into  the                                                                    
     future, and we  think you should have all  the facts as                                                                    
     you  deliberate.   We have  included  testimony in  our                                                                    
     packet from  representatives of  both of  these federal                                                                    
     agencies before  the Senate Banking Committee,  and you                                                                    
     will find  that the common  theme is that  treasury and                                                                    
     state  believe that  individual divestment  policies at                                                                    
     the  state level,  rather than  helping,  will in  fact                                                                    
     hinder their efforts.                                                                                                      
1:13:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON acknowledged that  the amount of permanent                                                               
fund investment being  questioned is only a small  portion of the                                                               
entire investment portfolio,  but the point is that  if a company                                                               
in  which  the permanent  fund  is  invested  pays taxes  to  the                                                               
Sudanese  government, those  taxes go  to the  military, and  the                                                               
military of Sudan is involved in  the genocide.  Taking that idea                                                               
to the extreme,  any company that does business in  or with Sudan                                                               
is complicit,  he said.   Representative  Johnson asked  what the                                                               
effect would be if Alaska were  to not invest in any company that                                                               
pays taxes to the Sudanese government.                                                                                          
1:14:59 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BURNS explained  that there are 6 companies  in the permanent                                                               
fund  corporation's   portfolio  today,   but  there   are  60-80                                                               
companies  on  the  list  that  are not  currently  part  of  the                                                               
portfolio, and the cost comes  from monitoring that broader list.                                                               
He said  he does not  have an answer to  Representative Johnson's                                                               
1:16:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON said  his point is, "If we're  going to do                                                               
this,  let's  do  it."     He  asked  about  the  possibility  of                                                               
encompassing all companies  that have anything at all  to do with                                                               
countries that commit genocide.   Regarding indirect holdings, he                                                               
directed  attention to  language beginning  on page  3, line  30,                                                               
through page 4, line 2, which read as follows:                                                                                  
          (e) Indirect holdings of the fund in assets of a                                                                      
     company  on the  scrutinized  companies  list that  has                                                                    
     active business operations need  not be divested if the                                                                    
     assets  are  part  of   a  separate,  actively  managed                                                                    
     commingled  fund  in  which other  investors  also  own                                                                    
     shares or interests.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON asked if there  is a potential for the six                                                               
companies to become indirect holdings,  so "we're really going to                                                               
have  no  effect."   He  asked  for  an explanation  of  indirect                                                               
1:17:19 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BURNS said the permanent  fund corporation owns 100 shares of                                                               
ConocoPhillips Alaska,  Inc. directly.   He  said, "I  think what                                                               
they're  talking about  there is  a comingled  fund, which  we do                                                               
have several."   He said it is  not a preferred method.   He said                                                               
the corporation  owns one international  mutual fund,  whereby it                                                               
actually owns  shares in the  fund and the underlying  assets are                                                               
held by that  fund.  He said the corporation  holds two comingled                                                               
funds, one of  which is a pure  mutual fund.  He  stated that the                                                               
corporation  would probably  have to  "get out  of" those  funds,                                                               
because it  does not control  the investment decision -  it makes                                                               
those decisions  with other owners.   In response to  a follow-up                                                               
question   from  Representative   Johnson,  explained   that  the                                                               
companies on the list do not  make the decision to become part of                                                               
a comingled  fund; someone  selects them,  and that  selection is                                                               
out of [the corporation's] hands.                                                                                               
1:19:00 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON asked  if any of the six  companies are in                                                               
comingled funds.                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS said the corporation does not know.                                                                                   
1:19:09 PM                                                                                                                    
LAURA ACHEE,  Director of  Communications, Alaska  Permanent Fund                                                               
Corporation, Department  of Revenue, stated that  the corporation                                                               
has not done any screens on  its investments.  She said, "We post                                                               
our holdings  on line and  this is what  we're being told  by the                                                               
folks that  have screened."   She said  it is very  possible that                                                               
some of the  companies on the scrutinized list could  be in those                                                               
two  comingled  funds.   They  are  actually  non-U.S.  comingled                                                               
funds, so  they could potentially be  in there, and if  they are,                                                               
this  legislation would  require us  to divest  from them."   She                                                               
said on any  given day, the permanent fund holds  shares of 3,000                                                               
companies, and that number changes daily.  She said:                                                                            
     We haven't  looked at  all at  the potential  cost with                                                                    
     regard  to  investment  losses of  divesting  from  any                                                                    
     company; we've only looked  at the administrative costs                                                                    
     of  ensuring that  we would  divest from  any companies                                                                    
     that were  on the  list and  that we  wouldn't purchase                                                                    
     them  again.   ...  If this  legislation  were to  take                                                                    
     effect  between now  and  the point  in  time when  you                                                                    
     would  have to  go to  divest,  it could  still be  six                                                                    
     companies,  but  it  could be  six  entirely  different                                                                    
     companies.  So, this isn't  a static thing.  And that's                                                                    
     how  we're   approaching  it  from   an  administrative                                                                    
     (indisc. - overlapping voices).                                                                                            
1:20:51 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BURNS  clarified that  the corporation did  not put  into its                                                               
fiscal note  any opportunity costs  of divesting of  any company.                                                               
The fiscal  note, he emphasize,  "is strictly  the administrative                                                               
cost  of trying  to develop  a system  to screen  3,000 companies                                                               
through  a list  of 60  to 80  at our  level and  at the  manager                                                               
1:21:26 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON commented on the  good track record of the                                                               
corporation, and  he surmised that  the six companies  are likely                                                               
in  a comingled  fund  because such  a fund  is  profitable.   He                                                               
asked,  "We  chose them  for  a  reason,  and wouldn't  the  fund                                                               
managers also have chosen them for reason?"                                                                                     
1:21:47 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BURNS  said he is  not certain  how to answer  that question.                                                               
He proffered, "It could very well  be that they're in a comingled                                                               
fund.   I'm not sure exactly  which managers have them  now.  ...                                                               
They're held in a separate account  at this point, and if that is                                                               
a similar  style to similar  comingled funds, it could  very well                                                               
be there.  But we have people  buying a selling the same stock on                                                               
a daily basis  in two different accounts, and that  is what makes                                                               
a market."                                                                                                                      
1:22:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON suggested:                                                                                               
     We still don't  know if we're going to  have any impact                                                                    
     on  these   six  companies,   because  they   could  be                                                                    
     receiving  capital  from  a comingled  fund.    So,  we                                                                    
     really don't know  that we're going to  have a positive                                                                    
     impact, one way or the other.                                                                                              
1:23:01 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BURNS responded:                                                                                                            
     We have  no effect on the  company.  The day  they sold                                                                    
     their stock  to the public  - whether  it was to  us or                                                                    
     someone else  and we've ultimately bought  that stock -                                                                    
     they receive  the value at that  point in time.   If we                                                                    
     sell our  stock to  the retirement system  of Minnesota                                                                    
     or we sell  it to an individual here in  Juneau, it has                                                                    
     no  effect on  the  company.   Their  capital has  been                                                                    
1:23:32 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN  asked  who  would  be  responsible  for                                                               
discovering  and then  notifying  the  corporation's managers  if                                                               
"three companies that are not  identified" decided to start doing                                                               
business with Sudan.                                                                                                            
MS.  ACHEE   said  the  bill   directs  the  corporation   to  be                                                               
responsible  for  identifying  which companies  are  believed  to                                                               
directly support the government of Sudan.  She continued:                                                                       
     Most of  the management  firms that the  permanent fund                                                                    
     [corporation]  hires  we do  hire  to  create a  single                                                                    
     account that has our name on  it, and we hold all those                                                                    
     stocks  directly.    Then  there  is  another  type  of                                                                    
     account that we  set up that is  [a] comingled account.                                                                    
     We buy into them; other people  buy into them.  And so,                                                                    
     that's  just kind  of a  description of  how those  two                                                                    
     different types  of investments work.   ... Out  of the                                                                    
     47 stock  and bond accounts  we have, only two  of them                                                                    
     are comingled funds.                                                                                                       
1:25:19 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR  ROSES said one of  the challenges of investing  is in                                                               
keeping a  portfolio diversified.   He said  at the time  when he                                                               
was involved  with the Alaska Retirement  Management (ARM) Board,                                                               
contracts were made with money  managers who were given a certain                                                               
dollar amount  for investing and offered  parameters around which                                                               
the  investments must  be  made; however,  the  managers had  the                                                               
latitude to  go out and work  within those investments to  try to                                                               
maximize the gain.   The success of those managers  in being able                                                               
to continue in  that capacity is dependent  upon their production                                                               
of   a  "reasonable   expectation   on  the   return  for   those                                                               
[MS. ACHEE and MR. BURNS nodded.]                                                                                               
VICE CHAIR ROSES  asked, "Do those contracts  include tracking of                                                               
these types  of investments or is  that part of where  the fiscal                                                               
note comes because this would  be an additional contract that you                                                               
would  have to  go back  and purchase  from those  money managers                                                               
that don't currently exist?"                                                                                                    
1:27:03 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BURNS  responded that  that is  precisely what  would happen.                                                               
He said  managers are contracted  for specific  areas, including:                                                               
international,    global,    domestic,   value,    growth,    and                                                               
capitalization.   Mr.  Burns mentioned  "basis  points" and  said                                                               
there  is a  different fee  arrangement that  has to  be made  to                                                               
arrange,  for  example, for  a  manager  to "do  everything,  but                                                               
this."   He spoke of "passive  funds" in which money  is invested                                                               
passively,  which  is  inexpensive  unless  there  is  customized                                                               
index.  When a request is  made to passively manage an index, but                                                               
with the  exception of  certain names, then  the fund  is "custom                                                               
1:29:01 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  BURNS, in  response to  a  question from  Vice Chair  Roses,                                                               
confirmed  that  the permanent  fund  corporation  has a  general                                                               
consultant that monitors for accuracy  the performance of each of                                                               
the managers as  reported by those managers.  He  said limiting a                                                               
manager's judgments  means limiting  his/her ability  to perform.                                                               
He  added, "But,  again,  we have  taken none  of  that into  the                                                               
VICE CHAIR ROSES asked for  confirmation that the corporation did                                                               
not  include  the  cost  of the  consultant  oversight  of  money                                                               
managers in its fiscal note.                                                                                                    
MS. ACHEE answered no.                                                                                                          
MR. BURNS offered his understanding that that is correct.                                                                       
1:30:03 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. ACHEE  added, "It wouldn't  change the functions  the account                                                               
associates   [provide]  for   us."     She  indicated   that  the                                                               
corporation did account for potential manager searches.                                                                         
1:30:14 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON, after  hearing what  is not  included in                                                               
the  fiscal  note,  said  it   seems  that  the  total  could  be                                                               
substantially more.                                                                                                             
1:30:41 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BURNS responded:                                                                                                            
     The people that  have looked at this  said our exposure                                                                    
     today  is about  $22 million.   So,  the lost  earnings                                                                    
     from that probably  wouldn't change that much.   If you                                                                    
     start  extrapolating to  this list  that currently  has                                                                    
     somewhere  between 60  and 80  [companies]  - I  really                                                                    
     don't  know the  number -  or a  broader list,  you may                                                                    
     really have  some impact  at that  point, by  not being                                                                    
     able to ... have the full investment world to look to.                                                                     
     ...   Somehow  this   has  been   portrayed  as   we're                                                                    
     profiteering off  of this,  and we're  not.   These are                                                                    
     just administrative costs to implement this bill.                                                                          
1:31:30 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DOLL said  she thinks  most people  in the  state                                                               
want to  have an impact  on genocide  and feel that  divesting is                                                               
the way  to do it.   However, she offered her  understanding that                                                               
the testimony  of [Mr. Burns]  is that divesting would  have very                                                               
little impact.                                                                                                                  
1:31:56 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BURNS said he thinks that is  what he is saying.  He referred                                                               
again to  the aforementioned report regarding  divesture in South                                                               
Africa, and  reiterated that  in retrospect,  people said  it had                                                               
little  if  any  effect  on  ending  apartheid.    He  said  once                                                               
companies raise the  capital, they don't care who  owns shares of                                                               
the  stock; it's  "out of  their  hands."   Regarding the  fiscal                                                               
note,  Mr.  Burns  acknowledged   that  the  numbers  are  large;                                                               
however,  he  said  it  must  be  kept  in  mind  at  all  times:                                                               
"Everything we  do has  a lot  of zeros involved."   He  said the                                                               
permanent  fund is  the twelfth  to thirteenth  largest sovereign                                                               
wealth fund in  the world.  He  added, "We are kind  of the proxy                                                               
for a U.S. sovereign wealth fund."                                                                                              
1:33:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DOLL asked  if there is a better  way of impacting                                                               
what happens  [in Sudan] other  than through the  permanent fund.                                                               
She remarked, "I know it's kind of a huge, impossible thing."                                                                   
1:33:30 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BURNS  said the  corporation is not  a foreign  policy maker.                                                               
He added  that although he is  sure there are things  that can be                                                               
done, [divesting in Sudan] is not the way to do it.                                                                             
1:33:48 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN  asked Mr.  Burns if  he has  ever before                                                               
come  before the  legislature to  discuss legislation  that would                                                               
have  impacted  the fund  through  social  decisions rather  than                                                               
strictly through economic decisions.                                                                                            
MR.  BURNS  replied  that  he  thinks  there  have  been  several                                                               
instances.   He  mentioned legislation  regarding state-sponsored                                                               
terrorism, tobacco  issues, and  whether the state  should invest                                                               
in the ExxonMobil Corporation.                                                                                                  
MS. ACHEE interjected  that she does not believe  "Exxon has come                                                               
up with  a legislative issue."   She noted that there  was a bill                                                               
introduced to  divest the permanent  fund from South  Africa, but                                                               
it  did not  pass.   She remarked  that she  was still  in Middle                                                               
School at  the time  and, thus,  did not testify.   She  said the                                                               
corporation testified  two years  ago on legislation  that "would                                                               
have encouraged us to divest from Iraq."                                                                                        
1:35:14 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   JOHANSEN  asked   if  there   have  been   bills                                                               
introduced in  the past  that would  have guided  the corporation                                                               
"more  toward a  social  investment policy  rather than  strictly                                                               
MS. ACHEE said she is not aware of any.                                                                                         
MR. BURNS  said he  is not  aware of any  either other  than "the                                                               
handful that we've talked about this morning."                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN  said, "I'd  like to be  able to  try and                                                               
research  that   and  get  more   of  an  understanding   of  the                                                               
conversation of that whole idea."                                                                                               
1:36:06 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR ROSES recounted a suggestion  made to the ARM Board in                                                               
the past  that recommended that  the board consider  investing in                                                               
more environmentally  and socially  conscientious companies.   He                                                               
stated, "I'll tell  you:  it was the most  difficult fund to find                                                               
investments in;  it was the most  difficult fund to find  a money                                                               
manager for; and  it was also the  one in which we  had the least                                                               
amount of return."                                                                                                              
1:36:50 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  questioned  whether  any  of  the  other                                                               
sovereign world funds  have been asked to [divest in  Sudan].  He                                                               
offered  his  understanding that  the  largest  of those  is  the                                                               
Norwegian  fund.     He  concurred   with  those   who  testified                                                               
previously regarding  the awfulness  of the  atrocities occurring                                                               
in Sudan.   He said  there have  been many other  atrocities that                                                               
have occurred during the 20th  Century that would make the events                                                               
in Sudan  look small by  comparison, which  he said is  very sad.                                                               
He  said it  looks  as though  [the  proposed legislation]  would                                                               
bring about, at  best, a minimal impact.  He  stated that he does                                                               
not want to use the permanent  fund to dictate social policy.  He                                                               
stated,  "It's  not  my  thinking  that  you  intentionally  have                                                               
invested  money to  propagate  genocide, and  I  would hope  that                                                               
those  testifying today  do  not  think that  that  is ever  your                                                               
intention  to  invest in  profit  off  of  genocide.   There  are                                                               
companies  that may,  but I  don't know  that we've  reached down                                                               
into  their  boardrooms to  find  out  their motive  on  business                                                               
investment."  He  said he thinks the legislature is  a good venue                                                               
through which the  public can ask whether or not  anything can be                                                               
done  through the  permanent fund  or  if something  can be  done                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL asked  if  other  sovereign wealth  funds                                                               
have invested based on social policies.                                                                                         
1:40:36 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  BURNS responded  that  the  Norway fund  monitors  a lot  of                                                               
social issues.   He said  that fund  is similar to  the permanent                                                               
fund  in that  it  is  built on  natural  resources; however,  it                                                               
differs  from the  permanent fund  because it  uses the  money to                                                               
fund many  of Norway's  social programs.   Mr. Burns  offered his                                                               
understanding that  a study is  being done that judges  the three                                                               
dozen sovereign wealth funds on  two issues that are important on                                                               
the national and international level:   Are the investments being                                                               
made for  political or economic  reasons and how  transparent are                                                               
the funds?  Alaska, Alberta, and  Norway, he said, are the models                                                               
of transparency and economic investment.                                                                                        
1:42:25 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  said Mr.  Burns brings  up a  good point.                                                               
He said, "I think the blindness with  which we put on this as ...                                                               
[an] economic  policy is kind  of important.   I suppose,  if you                                                               
really  wanted to  make a  comparison,  it would  be like  making                                                               
profit by  using the Internet when  we know that many  people are                                                               
violated by the Internet."  He  reiterated that he does not think                                                               
the  fund should  be made  a tool  to change  social policy,  but                                                               
emphasized that he thinks governments should be such tools.                                                                     
1:44:13 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BURNS  reemphasized that  although the  mission is  just, the                                                               
proposed legislation is not the right tool.                                                                                     
1:44:31 PM                                                                                                                    
BRIAN ANDREWS,  Deputy Commissioner, Treasury  Division, prefaced                                                               
his own testimony by saying  he agrees with Mr. Burns' testimony.                                                               
Mr. Andrews  paraphrased a  passage from  an article  in Pensions                                                             
and Investments,  dated 3/5/07, [entitled, "Performance  of a bad                                                             
idea"], which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                  
     In Illinois, the Legislature is to blame and ought to                                                                      
     reimburse public pension plans in the state for the                                                                        
     cost of the divestment law. The $39 billion Teachers'                                                                      
     Retirement System of the State of Illinois, for                                                                            
     instance, estimates the law cost it $2.1 million so                                                                        
     far, including transaction costs; the Illinois State                                                                       
     Board of Investment, more than $850,000.                                                                                   
MR. ANDREWS  questioned who  would make  up for  the loss  to the                                                               
employees  and citizens  of  Illinois.   He  referred to  another                                                               
section  of the  aforementioned  article, which  read as  follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
     But Judge Matthew F. Kennelly, of the U.S. District                                                                        
     Court, Chicago, on Feb. 23 overturned the Illinois law                                                                     
     ordering funds in that state to divest. He wrote in                                                                        
     his decision: "First, the restrictions on … pension                                                                        
     funds' ability to invest in many equities and mutual                                                                       
     funds unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury.                                                                       
     Second, the plaintiffs have no adequate remedy at law.                                                                     
     Defendants are state officials who have sovereign                                                                          
     immunity from suits for damages."                                                                                          
MR.  ANDREWS  reported  that  currently  the  State  of  Alaska's                                                               
pension plans  are underfunded by  $8.6 billion.   Any additional                                                               
expense  or loss  of investment  performance  will only  increase                                                               
that amount,  leading to even  higher annual  contribution rates,                                                               
he  said.     He   reminded  the   committee  that   the  average                                                               
contribution  rate to  the  Public  Employees' Retirement  System                                                               
(PERS) is currently  35.2 percent, and the rate  to the Teachers'                                                               
Retirement System (TRS) is 44.2 percent.   Mr. Andrews said it is                                                               
difficult  to  determine what  the  overall  cost impact  of  the                                                               
proposed divestiture  would be to  the retirement system,  but he                                                               
said  there  would   be  a  tangible  and   significant  cost  in                                                               
implementing and  monitoring such a directive:   approximately $3                                                               
million.   That  does  not even  take  into consideration  "under                                                               
performance" and "the increased volatility to the portfolios."                                                                  
MR. ANDREWS concluded by stating  that "all of us here" sincerely                                                               
wish  to help  the afflicted  of Sudan  and bring  an end  to the                                                               
conflict  there,  but  unfortunately,  he related,  he  does  not                                                               
believe that  HB 287 would have  an impact towards that  end.  He                                                               
urged  the  committee to  consider  the  tangible and  intangible                                                               
economic impacts that the proposed  legislation would have on the                                                               
state's   pension  plans   and   "the  far-reaching,   potential,                                                               
detrimental, long-term effects on  its participants."  He stated,                                                               
"The  legislation is  well-intended,  and the  desire  to make  a                                                               
difference is  noble, but mixing  moral and political  agendas at                                                               
the expense  of our  citizens' financial security  is not  a good                                                               
1:48:13 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DOLL  asked what  the impact  of that  $10 million                                                               
would be on each person's permanent  fund dividend.  She said her                                                               
understanding is that it would be about $9.                                                                                     
1:48:32 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. ANDREWS deferred to Mr. Burns.                                                                                              
1:48:49 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  said  he  wonders  about  the  fiduciary                                                               
responsibility of Mr.  Andrews as a manager and  of the Permanent                                                               
Fund Board,  and whether the  proposed legislation  would require                                                               
those entities to violate their fiduciary responsibilities.                                                                     
1:49:26 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. ANDREWS  replied that that  is a  good question for  which he                                                               
does  not have  an  answer;  he suggested  that  the question  of                                                               
fiduciary  responsibility would  require interpretation  from the                                                               
Department of Law or from the legal community.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  said that  is a key  issue, for  which he                                                               
would like an answer.                                                                                                           
1:50:00 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR ROSES  asked Mr. Andrews to confirm that  none of Vice                                                               
Chair   Roses'   previous   remarks  regarding   the   investment                                                               
strategies of the ARM Board were misstated.                                                                                     
MR. ANDREWS indicated  that he had not been  present during those                                                               
remarks and, thus, could not respond.                                                                                           
1:50:46 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR ROSES closed public testimony.                                                                                       
VICE CHAIR  ROSES announced that  HB 287  was heard and  held, at                                                               
the request of  Representative Lynn - the co-prime  sponsor of HB
287 and chair of the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects