30 Texas Senators Follow Through on 2022 Commitment, as Bettencourt Leads Divestment from Russia Effort

They signed onto Sen. Bettencourt’s SB 1817 banning Texas state investments with Russian Federation

Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) with 29 Texas Senators joining him, filed SB 1817 to require all state investing entities – including the Employees Retirement System of Texas, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, the Comptroller’s Office and their investment of state funds, as well as any other state entity subject to Chapter 2256 – to divest from any investments in the Russian Federation.

“SB 1817, signed by 30 Texas Senators makes it clear where Texas stands when it comes to Totalitarian Regimes like Russia that wage war on Democracies without reason or provocation.” said Senator Bettencourt.

SB 1817 will also prohibit any future state investment with the Russian Federation, and allow a 90-day window for current investments to be unwound in a manner that will minimize any investment losses to state investment funds.

Comptroller Hegar applauded the work of the Texas Senate saying:

“I applaud my former colleagues in the Senate for remaining focused on this issue. As the world’s 9th largest economy and the nation’s top state for international trade, Texas plays a crucial role in maintaining global geopolitical and economic stability.

"I look forward to working with Senator Bettencourt and this bipartisan coalition of members to ensure Texas’ investments remain consistent with Texas values and don’t support authoritarian regimes or the violent dictatorships.” said Comptroller Glenn Hegar (right.)

On February 24, 2022, Russian forces launched a country-wide assault on Ukraine. In response, Senator Bettencourt organized and delivered a letter March 2nd, 2022, signed by the entire Texas Senate, to Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick requesting an interim charge to protect state assets.

This letter helped lead to the Comptroller’s Office requesting the Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company to review Russia Federation investments.

SB 1817 codifies into law what the Comptroller’s Office has done since receiving the Texas Senate’s letter.
  According to a May 2022 report by the Comptroller’s Office, the total Russia Federation exposure across all Trust pools of capital is at 0% direct and 0.001% indirect.

“Comptroller Hegar has literally done 99% of the divestment & should be lauded for it. However, we must take the final step to protect Texas Taxpayer Assets from this violent dictatorship that went to war on a Democracy and could change their investment rules at the snap of a finger,” said Sen. Bettencourt (left.)
The following 29 Senators have signed on to SB 1817 as Joint Authors, with Sen. Bettencourt as the Principal Author:
  1. Alvarado
  2. Birdwell
  3. Blanco
  4. Campbell
  5. Creighton
  6. Eckhardt
  7. Flores
  8. Gutierrez
  9. Hall
  10. Hancock
  11. Hinojosa
  12. Huffman
  13. Hughes
  14. Johnson
  15. King
  16. Kolkhorst
  17. LaMantia
  18. Menéndez
  19. Middleton
  20. Miles
  21. Parker
  22. Paxton
  23. Perry
  24. Schwertner
  25. Sparks
  26. Springer
  27. West
  28. Whitmire and
  29. Zaffirini