Download this document in WordPerfect 6.1 format

NO. R-118. JOINT RESOLUTION URGING THE VERMONT STATE TEACHERS’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM BOARD TO DIVEST TOBACCO COMPANY STOCKS .

(J.R.S. 57 )

Offered by: Senator Hooker of Rutland County.

Whereas, it is indisputable that the use of tobacco products by Vermont adults and schoolchildren exacts an enormous human toll in health, health care costs, and lost economic and social productivity due to the morbidity and mortality resulting from tobacco related disease, and

Whereas, a domestic tobacco company has publicly admitted that smoking causes cancer, that smoking is addictive, and that the tobacco industry, as a whole, explicitly targets minors in its advertising despite having denied such facts to the public and to congress in the past, and

Whereas, a majority of states, including Vermont, have pending legal proceedings against tobacco companies seeking reimbursement for tobacco-related health costs, and

Whereas, state ownership of an interest in tobacco companies is inconsistent with the public policy of the State of Vermont discouraging the use of tobacco products, especially among young people, and

Whereas, the Boards of the Vermont State Employees’ and the Vermont Municipal Employees’ Retirement Systems have recently decided to divest themselves of any interests in tobacco company stocks, and

Whereas, the Vermont affiliate of the National Education Association, which represents approximately 85% of Vermont’s public school teachers, has been calling upon the Teachers’ Retirement System Board to divest itself of tobacco company stocks since April 1992, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly commends the Boards of the Vermont State Employees’ and the Vermont Municipal Employees’ Retirement Systems for their recent decisions to divest themselves of any interests in tobacco company stocks, and be it further

Resolved: That the General Assembly urges the Board of the Vermont State Teachers’ Retirement System to divest tobacco stocks from their pension portfolios, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State forward a copy of this resolution for presentation to the chairs of the three retirement boards.