Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Senate Passes Bill to Create Independent Council to Recover Lost Investments

The Senate unanimously approved Senate President Pro-tem Tim Jennings' SB269, which would create an independent counsel to seek to recover investments lost by the State Investment Council, Educational Retirement Board and the PERA.

Jennings stressed that the special council would not be responsible for investigating possible criminal wrongdoing. But if evidence of a crime was uncovered, it would be turned over to the state attorney general, Jennings said.

The bill includes a $400,000 appropriation, which would be paid for out of the retirement funds.
"It makes more sense that to just say adios to these dollars," Jennings said.

Sen. Dianna Duran asked Jennings whose responsibility this would be without the special council. Jennings said it would be the attorney general's office and the investment boards themselves. But there hasn't been much action by those agencies, he said.

Sen. Tim Keller said that in committees representatives of the attorney general testified they didn't have the money to pursue such investigations.