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Oroho Questions Democrats’ Reversal to Deny State Pension Gains

via Successful American Employers

May 29, 2013--Senator Steve Oroho questioned today the decision by Senate Democrats to reinstate a clause in bill, S2467/S2471, that would force New Jersey to divest pension funds from thriving American companies that legally sell firearms.

“After sensibly agreeing to remove the requirement at a May 9 public meeting, Senate Democrats have reinstated the very clause that they publicly removed,” said Oroho (Sussex, Warren, Morris.) “I’m disappointed that public action taken by Democrats apparently doesn’t hold up behind closed doors.”

S2467/S2471 prohibits New Jersey from investing the state’s pension and annuity funds in companies manufacturing, importing and selling particular firearms for civilian use, meaning the state would have to end lucrative investments including companies such as Wal-Mart.

When financial problems with divesting from legal companies that sell guns were raised at the May 9 Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee meeting, Democrats said their bill covered manufacturers, not retailers. After a break in the committee meeting, staff members confirmed that the bill indeed included retailers and Senate Democrats subsequently amended the legislation to specifically remove retailers.

Even after the vote some Democrats publicly expressed skepticism about the measure questioning if it’s in the best interest of the state’s pension funds to limit successful options, especially if a retailer sells firearms legally.

“Divesting the state’s investments from household companies like Wal-Mart because they legally sell guns does nothing to deter gun violence but will hurt public employees and taxpayers by undercutting options that have proven successful in benefiting New Jersey’s pension system,” Oroho added. “Reasons for divesting must be undeniable; for example this state has divested from nations such as Iran and Sudan with militant dictatorships. How can lawful American employers be considered on par with such a group?”

By amending S2467/S2471 to align with A3668, which was already passed by the Assembly, Senate Democrats are pushing it to the governor’s desk as fast as possible.

“Perhaps there are political motives for this flip-flop, but either way taxpayers, public employees and pensioners would lose with this bill,” Oroho concluded.

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