Bill Summaries: all (2023-2024 Session)

  • Summary date: Mar 20 2023 - View summary

    Renames Article 6G of GS Chapter 147 as “Anti-Boycotting Divestments.” Makes organizational and conforming changes to the Article by dividing it into parts. Part I pertains Divestment from Companies Boycotting Israel. New Part II pertains to Divestment from Companies Engaged in Certain Boycotts of Energy Companies, which it names the “Abusive Boycott Divestment Act of 2023 (Act).” Defines the following terms as they are used in Part 2: company, restricted company, restricted company list, and state agency. Defines boycott energy company or boycott of an energy company to mean without an ordinary business purpose, the refusal to deal with a company, termination of business activities with a company, or another action intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with a company because the company does one or more of the following: (1) engages in the exploration, production, utilization, transportation, sale, or manufacturing of fossil fuel-based energy, either with or without a commitment or pledge to meet environmental standards exceeding applicable federal law, State law, or both; or (2) does business with a company that engages in the exploration, production, utilization, transportation, sale, or manufacturing of fossil fuel-based energy.

    Requires that the State Treasurer adopt a policy by no later than 30 days after July 1, 2023, prohibiting the North Carolina Retirement Systems (NCRS) or the Department of the State Treasurer (Treasurer) from investing funds with or in a company engaging in a boycott of an energy company. Requires the policy to contain: (1) a list of restricted companies the State Treasurer determines engage in a boycott of an energy company within 120 days after the adoption of the policy, and then annual updates thereto; (2) bars the NCRS and State Treasurer from investing in any company identified on the State Treasurer’s list and requires that NCRS divest from any company placed on the list with which it has already invested in within 180 days after the company is placed on the list; (3) specifies that that neither the Act nor the policy require the NCRS or the State Treasurer to take any action unless the State Treasurer concludes, in good faith, that action is consistent with their fiduciary duties; and (4) allows investments to be made in a company engaged in a boycott if the company is eligible to contract with the State under the specified exceptions and the State Treasurer makes a good-faith determination that the investments are necessary to perform its functions. 

    Provides any company to be placed the list of restricted companies with an opportunity to comment in writing to the State Treasurer that it has not engaged in a boycott of an energy company. Requires the Treasurer to not include the company on the list if it establishes it has not engaged in such a boycott. Subject to the following exceptions below, directs that a company that is identified on the list is ineligible to contract with the State or any political subdivision of the State, and are void ab initio. Provides that existing contracts with such companies will be allowed to expire in line with the terms of the contract. Exempts contracts valued at less than $1,000 or if the State agency or political subdivision determines that the it would be unable to obtain the commodities or services for which the contract if offered without the exemption.

    Requires the State Treasurer to submit an annual report to the specified NCGA committee by October 1, regarding investments sold, redeemed, divested, or withdrawn to comply with the Part.

    Specifies that the Part does not give any entity a private right of action to enforce its provisions. Allows a company on the list to challenge the State Treasurer’s determination through the hearings provision of the State Administrative Procedures Act, except it may only do so every 365 days and cannot recoup attorneys’ fees.  Provides for immunity for actions State agencies take under the Act.