Utah lawmakers don't want state investing retirement funds in Iranian oil companies

Published: Wednesday, March 9 2011 10:29 a.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — Lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday that would prevent the state from investing public retirement funds in Iranian oil companies. 

SB112, which passed the House 63-3, would prevent the Utah State Retirement Office from acquiring direct holdings in Iran's petroleum industry beginning July 1. 

Co-sponsor Rep. Julie Fisher, R-Fruit Heights, said it's not right to mourn with those who return from war in the Middle East, and then "ship off our retirement dollars to the economy of Iran."

One of the few nay votes for the measure, which now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert for his action, came from Rep. Jackie Biskupski, D-Salt Lake. 

"I think it is not our place as a Legislature to make political statements about other people's investments," she said.

Later in the day, the House unanimously passed a resolution, which has already passed the Senate, that expresses support for the Iranian people's struggle for freedom. 

Amanda Verzello

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