By Sen. Tim Mathern
On March 3, 2022 the North Dakota State Investment Board rightly voted to divest itself of investments in Russian entities or securities issued by Russian entities.
Unfortunately, much of the meeting was conducted behind closed doors where the press and citizens were not able to see and hear the board members in action. The room chosen for the meeting was also small and not accommodating to the public. I called the Attorney General’s office questioning the legality of the arrangements but was told it met legal muster.
The meeting, which others and I had called for earlier, was to discuss North Dakota’s Legacy Fund and other state investments in Russia in light of the country’s continuing attacks on Ukraine. The Fund holds about $8 billion dollars. I had suggested that the Board also address China investments and offer some support to the citizens of Ukraine.
Unfortunately, in the same week Gov. Burgum also signed onto Republican governor’s statements shorting President Biden’s State of the Union address. These statements focus on drilling oil on unleased land, our southern border, and at a time when our country is moving closer to nuclear midnight. This is shortsighted and unhelpful. I have suggested three actions.
President Zelensky and Ukrainian citizens are brave enough to take up arms to protect their freedom and homelands. Our investment boards can act immediately to divest ourselves of communist regimes and we can act hospitably to persons who suffer from war and strife. After all, they need us and we need them.
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Senator Tim Mathern
433 16th Ave S, Fargo
May 20th 2022
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