HB 703 (a bill that calls for Kentucky state retirement funds to be
divested from the government of Sudan) recently passed the Kentucky House
It has been sent to the State and Local Government
Committee in the Senate. If it
passes there, it would go to the Senate floor for approval. There are only a couple weeks left to
this year’s session so this bill will come up for a vote very
I’ve heard that only a few of us have actually contacted
our representatives in the House in the last couple of weeks. This is sad news because it will only be
that much harder later when it comes to contacting the state retirement board
about actually carrying out the recommendations made in this bill. In other words, if our legislators and
bureaucrats don’t believe the people of Kentucky truly care about Darfur we
really can’t expect them to do too much on this
So please….if you have been frustrated in the past
about feeling powerless on Darfur, now is the time you CAN do something. Please contact your Senator (or all of
our Senators) telling them that you support this bill (HB 703). Below are the email addresses for
all our Senators, and below that are a couple other emails relating to this
Thanks! Dave Robinson, Louisvillians Helping to
Kentucky Senators email addresses (just
Charlie.Border@lrc.ky.gov; David.Boswell@lrc.ky.gov ;
Tom.Buford@lrc.ky.gov ; Julian.Carroll@lrc.ky.gov
; Perry.Clark@lrc.ky.gov ;
Brett.Guthrie@lrc.ky.gov ; Denise.Angel@lrc.ky.gov;
Ray.Jones@lrc.ky.gov ; Dan.Kelly@lrc.ky.gov ;
RJ.Palmer@lrc.ky.gov ; Joey.Pendleton@lrc.ky.gov
; Jerry.Rhoads@lrc.ky.gov ;
Dorsey.Ridley@lrc.ky.gov ; Dick.Roeding@lrc.ky.gov ;
Dan.Seum@lrc.ky.gov ; Tim.Shaughnessy@lrc.ky.gov ;
Brandon.Smith@lrc.ky.gov ; Katie.Stine@lrc.ky.gov ;
Damon.Thayer@lrc.ky.gov ; Elizabeth.Tori@lrc.ky.gov
; Johnny.Turner@lrc.ky.gov ;
David.Williams@lrc.ky.gov ; Ken.Winters@lrc.ky.gov ;
From: Bob Brousseau
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Cc: Max Croes; Daniel Millenson
Subject: H.B. 703
has passed the KY House by UNANIMOUS VOTE
Great news to share.
The house leaders worked with Representative Tom Riner (Louisville) and
rushed it to a vote today. With two members absent, it was passed with a
vote of 97-0.
With only two weeks to
go, Now is the Time to Urge the Senate to VOTE YES ON H.B. 703!
There are 38 Senators
and we really need to urge them all to support this.
As in the past there
are two easy ways to do so:
Call the LEGISLATIVE
MESSAGE LINE: 1-800-372-7181 (call between Monday through Thursday 7 a.m.
to 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. to
6 p.m. on Friday)
Tell them, "I am
urging the legislators to vote "YES" on H.B. 703, the Sudan Divestment
Bill." If they ask you who to direct it to, tell
them all legislators.
Email the Senators.
I have addresses
as well as a draft below you can copy and paste into an email and
Please contact them;
we’re almost there!
Taskforce On Darfur (KITOD)
call on you to vote YES on H.B. 703, which encourages Kentucky divesting from
the government of Sudan.
Kentucky needs to join the other
twenty-three other states that have enacted binding legislation. This bill
is an important step to taking Kentucky money out of
this genocidal equation.
This is not a political issue; it is a
moral one that legislators on both sides of the aisle can – and should – get
behind. It will, make "Kentucky Proud". Vote YES for H.B.
703, when the time comes for your vote.
from Dave Robinson:
As you probably already know,
some of the funds in the Kentucky state retirement system are invested in
third-party companies (many in Asia) that have close financial ties with the
government of Sudan. For instance,
the oil that is sold to these companies by the government of Sudan is
essentially traded for military/industrial goods that are subsequently used to
repress the people of Darfur and southern Sudan. This cozy exchange of Sudanese oil for
Chinese bombs and bullets helps explains why China is the #1 defender of the
Sudan government whenever the U.N Security Council tries to pass resolutions to
protect the people of Darfur.
I think you will agree that Kentucky monies shouldn’t be used this
way. Twenty-three other state
legislatures have already passed strong (binding) divestment laws. This includes many of our neighbors like
Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and North
Last week, Tom Riner (a member of the House of Representatives from
Louisville) submitted a bill that encourages (but does not require) the
state of Kentucky to withdraw its retirement investments that are
helping the government of Sudan.
The entire text of this bill (HB 703) is provided at the end of this
Last year, a
House bill was proposed that would have required Sudan divestment but it
was immediately voted down. Even
though this current bill is non-binding it is the best we can get right now,
considering that the current session is more than half over. If we can just get this non-binding bill
passed now, perhaps we can use that to apply pressure to the Kentucky State
Investment Commission in the future.
If the bill fails, it might appear as if there isn’t enough
public interest in the state about the ever-worsening crisis in
The bill passed the State Government Committee in the House on Thursday,
and will be coming up for a full House vote this week (March 10-14). Once passed, it would then be sent to
the Senate for further approval.
Please take a few minutes out of your snowy weekend to contact your
Kentucky House member in support of HB 703. I would suggest using phone or e-mail,
as there isn’t time to send a paper letter. Although contacting your specific
legislator is one of the most powerful steps you can take as
a constituent, feel free to contact other members of the House as
well. Even though they aren’t
our direct Representatives a large number of e-mails from us would still have an
impact. It would remind them that
the people of Kentucky care!
To help, I have
included a WORD document that contains all of the e-mail
addresses of the current members of the House and Senate. All you would have to do compose an
e-mail (be as concise or as wordy as you like) and copy-and-paste these
addresses into the To: box before sending.
Here is a good website if you want some background
information about divestment:
Our communal thanks go to SaveDarfur member Bob
Brousseau (Kentuckiana Interfaith Taskforce on Darfur) for
getting Darfur on the legislative agenda this year. Bob has
worked on this daily for the past couple months. Thanks also go to
Rep. Tom Riner for his compassion and collaboration. Its easy to get
caught up in the politics of our own financial woes and forget that there are
many other people in the world who are much worse
Now its up to us to do our
For more information e-mail me at email@example.com. Thanks.
Full text of
HB-703 An ACT relating to
investment of state funds:
âSection 1. The Kentucky General Assembly
finds that the public interest and the interests of the Kentucky Judicial Form
Retirement System and the State Investment Commission are advanced when
reasonable efforts are made by the board of trustees of the Judicial Form
Retirement System and members of the State Investment Commission to curtail
future investments identified by the United States Department of Treasury or the
Sudan Divestment Taskforce as having a significant presence in the Republic of
Sudan because of the atrocities committed by the Sudanese government’s military
and its proxy Arab militia forces in the Darfur region of western
âSection 2. The General Assembly hereby
encourages the board of trustees of the Kentucky Judicial Form Retirement System
and members of the State Investment Commission to curtail the investments
specified in Section 1 of this Act.
âSection 3. The Kentucky General Assembly
dedicates this Act in memory of the foreign journalists expelled, the churches
and villages destroyed, the innocent millions in the Darfur region displaced,
the thousands of women and girls systematically raped, the tens of thousands
suffering from severe malnutrition and disease, and the hundreds of thousands of
defenseless men, women, and children slaughtered, including foreign humanitarian
workers, as a result of the atrocities committed by the Sudanese government’s
military and its proxy Arab militia forces and the polite indifference of its
main economic and military partner, the People’s Republic of China.
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