South Dakota

Legislation: In 2010, South Dakota enacted Senate Bill 134, requiring the State Investment Council to scrutinize its holdings in companies that have active business operations in Iran. The SIC is required to contact those companies and request that they clarify or cease their activities. Companies that do not cease their operations are then subject to divestment by the SIC (1).

Effects: In January 2015, the State Investment Council reported that it had not sold any holdings on account of SB 134 (2).

Key actors: State Representative Dan Lederman (R, District 16) and State Senator Stan Adelstein (R, District 32) sponsored the legislation, and Governor Mike Rounds signed the bill into law (3). In 2015, Rounds, now South Dakota Senator, voiced opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and reiterated his support for state sanctions. When asked by Argus Leader how he would respond to a federal demand that South Dakota lift its sanctions, Rounds replied, “Without using any four-letter words, I would say, ‘Sue me'” (4).

Of note: At the same time as the bill’s proposal, the South Dakota Retirement System and Investment Office supported another bill with language that makes note of fiduciary duty and encourages, but does not mandate, divestment (5).

Updated: 05/31/2016

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