CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State lawmakers in South Carolina are looking to put economic pressure on Russia while supporting Ukrainians.
Senate Minority Leader Brad Hutto, D – Orangeburg, introduced two new bills on the Senate floor on Tuesday to do so.
The first bill would condemn Russia for its actions and invasion of Ukraine, while the second would prohibit state money, including the state employee retirement fund, from being invested in companies owned or controlled by Russia or which mainly operate in the country.
Hutto said he did not know at the time if any state funding is currently going to Russia or Russian companies but believes some of it is invested internationally.
“If we’ve got money in a company that’s Russian-owned, we need — because that’s the point. We’re trying to put pressure on Russia,” he said. “The idea that we’re not going to allow them to participate in the banking system — well I don’t want them using South Carolinians’ money for their companies either, and I think we need to speak out on that.”
The same day in the House of Representatives, Rep. Russell Fry, R – Horry, introduced similar Russia divestment legislation, along with another bill that would prohibit the sale of alcohol produced or manufactured in Russia in South Carolina liquor stores.
“South Carolina dollars should not be subsidizing Vladimir Putin and his oligarchs,” Fry said in a news release. “Russia’s belligerent behavior in Ukraine requires an unprecedented response, and these bills will show the world that South Carolina stands for freedom.”
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