§ 35-10-14. Investment in corporations doing business in Northern Ireland.
(a) Notwithstanding any general or special law or regulation to the contrary, the general treasurer, acting as the treasurer/custodian of the state employees’ retirement system and the teachers’ retirement system, and as the chairperson of the state investment commission, is authorized and directed to monitor, by reference to reports of the investor responsibility research center or such other sources as he or she may deem useful and appropriate, the extent to which corporations organized under the laws of the United States or the several states and operating in Northern Ireland, in which the assets of the retirement systems or of the pension reserves investment trust fund are invested, adhere to principals of nondiscrimination in employment and freedom of workplace opportunity. In conducting the survey, the general treasurer may utilize any information presently available relative to similar pension plans. In making this determination, the general treasurer shall consider, without limitation, the following standards for corporate activity:
(1) Equal access to employment, promotion, and job-preservation without regard to religious affiliation or other minority status;
(2) The promotion of religious tolerance within the workplace, and the eradication of any manifestations of religious and other illegal discrimination;
(3) Adherence to other legal and regulatory guidelines for nondiscrimination and equality of opportunity existing in Northern Ireland; and
(4) Adherence to the MacBride Principles for Northern Ireland, so-called.
(b) The general treasurer shall set forth the results of the investigation by filing a report with the clerks of the house of representatives and of the senate not later than December 31 of each year. The report shall include, but not be limited to, the names and addresses of all United States corporations operating in Northern Ireland in which the assets of the retirement systems or trust fund are invested, and the findings of the general treasurer relative to these corporations’ adherence to the standards for corporate activity as set forth in subsection (a). The general treasurer shall also report his or her recommendations, if any, consistent with prudent fiduciary practice, based upon the findings of the investigation. The report shall be available for public inspection in the offices of the clerks of the house of representatives and of the senate, and in the office of the general treasurer.
(c) The general treasurer, subject to the approval of the commission, shall, where necessary, appropriate, and consistent with prudent standards for fiduciary practice, support shareholder petitions or initiatives requiring corporate action in compliance with the standards for nondiscrimination set forth in this section.
(d) It is not the intent of this section to diminish the present portfolio and it is not the intent of this section to injure the fragile economy of Northern Ireland. The general treasurer, in accordance with sound investment criteria, is encouraged to make future pension fund investments in United States firms which conduct business in Northern Ireland and which abide by the MacBride Principles of fair employment. Should all or any of the United States firms in which Rhode Island state pension funds are invested refuse to comply with the MacBride Principles, the general treasurer, in accordance with sound investment criteria, does have the option and is encouraged to remove these funds and invest them in United States firms which conduct business in Northern Ireland and which abide by the MacBride Principles of fair employment.
History of Section.
P.L. 1987, ch. 518, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 513, § 1.