ST. PAUL, Minnesota (FOX 9) – The Minnesota House voted 126 to nothing on Thursday to force state pension funds to sell their Russian and Belarusian investments.
Investments represent less than 1 hundredth of one percent of total state assets.
“It’s important for us to note that there’s not a lot of fiscal impact, but there’s a big moral impact for us to stay invested in Russia,” said State Representative Sydney Jordan (DFL -Minneapolis).
Two Republicans tried unsuccessfully to add China and 15 other countries to the banned list. The bill is heading to the Senate, where senators expect to send it to the governor’s office early next week. Minnesota investment managers will have 15 months to fully divest.
State agencies are also prohibited from entering into contracts with Russian or Belarusian entities.
Watching from the House gallery was Luda Anastazievsky, a Minneapolis teacher who immigrated from Mariupol, Ukraine when she was young. She calls it a milestone as Russia continues its invasion that it hoped had already ended.
“We all did it,” Anastazievsky said of the ongoing war. “We all did. But it continues, and I so appreciate the efforts our country, our president and our elected officials are making to support Ukraine.”
Ukrainian Minnesotans say they pressured the governor to accept Ukrainian refugees. Governor Tim Walz’s spokeswoman said Walz is still awaiting news from the State Department, which is managing this process.