Legislation: Kansas has no sanctions against Iran. Kansas lawmakers, however, have made attempts to require state pension funds to divest from businesses with ties to Iran. In 2015, State Representative Scott Schwab (R-Olathe) introduced House Bill 2287, legislation that would require the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) to divest from companies that have more than $20 million invested in the Iranian petroleum industry (1). Schwab explained his rationale behind sponsoring the bill to The Washington Times as wanting to protect American assets “if we do go to war with Iran – I believe that day will come, I think there will be a day that we go to war with Iran – they’re not going to gobble up our resources” (2). As of February 24, 2016, HB 2287 is still in committee.
Key Actors: State Representative Scott Schwab (R, Olathe) is sponsor of a pending bill as well as of a 2012 bill that failed.
Effects: One KPERS executive did express some reservations about divestment, warning that it could result in high costs for scrutinizing businesses as well as significant losses from divestment itself (3). The bill has not yet received a vote. Representative Schwab previously attempted to mandate sanctions in 2012; that bill, HB 2411, died in committee (4).