From the Office of State Senator Dan Patrick

For Immediate Release
September 25, 2007

Contact: Court Koenning
(512) 463-0107 / (713) 876-4444

Senator Patrick's bill to require divestment of Iranian investments in state retirement systems takes a big step forward

AUSTIN, TX -- This afternoon, Governor Rick Perry announced the delivery of a letter to the Employees Retirement System of Texas and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas requesting they divest funds from companies who have significant relationships with Iran.

During the 80th Legislative Session, Senator Dan Patrick filed Senate Bill 1330 to require the two retirement systems to divest of investments in international companies that invest $20 million or more in Iran's energy sector or are owned or operated by Iranian entities. The bill was referred to the Senate Government Organization Committee where it was not given a hearing.

"I am happy to receive the support of Governor Perry and I believe the timing of this poignant announcement could not be better," said Senator Patrick. "The message to Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is that the State of Texas is not deceived by his rhetoric and we oppose his oppressive regime."

Although the letter from Governor Perry carries significant weight with the boards of trustees, legislation is still necessary to properly institute a divestment of Iranian related assets.

"I have discussed this issue with Governor Perry and I look forward to working with him and Senator Florence Shapiro to implement this legislation that will improve national security and protect Texas' retirees from the destabilizing effect of the Iranian government," stated Senator Patrick.

Senator Patrick will file this legislation in the upcoming legislative session and name it in honor of Senator Shapiro's father, Martin Donald. Mr. Donald, a Jewish-American holocaust survivor, passed away in February, 2007.