DALLAS — A bipartisan group of Texas lawmakers is calling on the state to use its economic power to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. And one of the priorities would be pulling out any money we may have invested in the Russian Federation.
And that is a lot of money.
“So far, the pension funds that have responded to our request have identified about $660 million worth of financial exposure to Russia,” state Rep. Rafael Anchia said on Inside Texas Politics. “And we think that number is going to grow.”
Rep. Anchia chairs the Texas House Committee on Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services. He says lawmakers are looking at legislation to divest that would be modeled on similar bills passed for Iran and Sudan.
Anchia says they’ll also bring managers of the pension funds before lawmakers so they can detail what kind of exposure Texas might be facing, the liquidity of those exposures and how we can amortize the investments to get Texas out.
“We’re the ninth largest economy in the world, bigger than Russia’s, and we have a role to play in the collective effort among states and nations to punish Russia for this aggression,” said the Democrat.
Watch the segment below:
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar also recently announced that his office will review every state contract and every payment made through the Texas treasury for ties to Russian-owned businesses. And Hegar says the state will move swiftly to divest any of those holdings.
Texas Senator Paul Bettencourt also discusses, at length, the Senate’s effort to divest from the Russian Federation in our most recent episode of Y’all-itics. And learn how the invasion could lower property taxes in Texas. Listen here.
But with the Russian stock market closed, the ruble plummeting and the Russian economy collapsing, is it already too late to get our money out?
Rep. Anchia says there’s still time because there will be an amortization schedule.
“We want to make sure that our annuitants and our teachers, our employees in this state who have contributed into their pension fund will be held harmless,” he said.