Missouri Senate sends terror financing bill to House

Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, wants Missouri voters to codify into law a policy barring the state from investing in companies that do business with state sponsors of terrorism.

The Missouri Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a measure that would codify into law an existing policy at the state treasurer's office.

The bill would bar the state treasurer, who is responsible for the state's investments, from investing in any company that does business with a country designated a state sponsor of terrorism. The State Department currently lists three countries with that designation: Iran, Sudan and Syria. It asks voters to codify into state law a policy first instituted by then-Treasurer Sarah Steelman a decade ago.

Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, said he filed the legislation in response to the Iran nuclear deal, which includes the lifting of certain sanctions. He said he wants to put his bill before voters to give them a way to weigh in on the deal.

"It's a value statement for our state to say we don't want our money, we don't want our tax dollars going to Iran. That is what this is about, and I believe that the people ought to be allowed to weigh in on that."

The bill now heads to the House. If it passes the legislature, it will appear on the November ballot.

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