Legislation: The Nevada State Legislature is prohibited by the Nevada Constitution from interfering in state retirement fund investments. However, AB 493, passed by the state of Nevada in 2009 after legislators overrode Governor Jim Gibbons’ veto, is designed to increase transparency around the state retirement fund’s investments by requiring the Nevada State Retirement Board to submit yearly reports on its investments in entities doing business in Iran’s petroleum sector, as well as investments in any entities on the federal Treasury Department’s list of scrutinized companies doing business in Iran. As of January 2015, the Retirement Board had no investments in companies meeting either condition.
Key actors: Former Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley (D – Las Vegas) co-authored and championed the bill.
Effect: In 2007, the Las Vegas Sun claimed, based on its own analysis, that the Nevada Public Employees Retirement System had $156 million “invested in foreign corporations or their subsidiaries with ties to Iran and other rogue regimes.” The Retirement Board’s annual report to the Legislature in 2011 disclosed $115 million of investments in scrutinized companies. The Retirement Board currently possesses no assets in scrutinized entities, but whether that is a result of Federal Treasury action to remove companies from the list of scrutinized entities, market factors that encouraged the Nevada Retirement Board to divest from scrutinized companies, or other reasons, is difficult to parse.