Illinois House rejects gun divestment plan

2013-04-18T20:00:00Z 2013-04-19T00:10:31Z Illinois House rejects gun divestment planLee Springfield Bureau nwitimes.com
April 18, 2013 8:00 pm  • 

SPRINGFIELD | The Illinois House rejected a proposal Thursday requiring the state’s public employee pension systems to stop investing in gun manufacturers.

The legislation, which surfaced after the killing of 26 school students and staff in Newtown, Conn., received just 46 of the 60 votes needed for passage after opponents argued it would represent a significant burden on the pension systems and unfairly crack down on Illinois-based gun manufacturers.

“I think it’s the wrong message to send to our businesses who are already under the gun,” said state Rep. Mike Smiddy, D-Hillsdale.

In addition, they said investing decisions should be left up to professionals.

“My question is where does it stop? I think this is bad public policy,” said state Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Smithton.

In January, the state’s largest pension system, the $37.5 billion Teachers’ Retirement System, said it had just $77,000 invested in three gun makers.

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