Iran Energy Divestment Act was part of bill vetoed by governor

The Iran Energy Divestment Act legislation championed by the St. Louis Chapter of the American Jewish Committee was among several amendments killed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of HB 1900. He said the legislation “violated constitutional requirements that ensure openness and transparency” and “limit the scope of a bill to its original purpose and to a single subject that is clearly expressed in its title.”

The governor said the bill was initially “housekeeping legislation entitled ‘for the sole purpose of restructuring statutes based on executive branch reorganizations,’” but later had several unrelated amendments tacked on, including the Iran divestment legislation.

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“While my action today will unfortunately preclude the enactment of certain important provisions contained in this bill, it will preserve the constitutional safeguards for accountability in the legislative process,” Nixon said.

The AJC worked on the Iran Energy Divestment Act with Sen. John Lamping (R-Ladue), the bill’s sponsor.

The bill would have prohibited companies that invest $20 million or more in the energy sector in Iran from entering into a contract for $1 million or more with any Missouri state or local entity.

In a message to AJC members, Regional Director Nancy Lisker wrote, “While we at AJC-St. Louis can understand our governor’s rationale to exercise his veto power we are still disappointed about the final outcome: that Missouri remains ‘open for business’ to companies with ties to Iran’s energy sector.” 

Lisker expressed hope that the bill will be reintroduced during the 2013 legislative session. 

“Every passing day with no Iran divestment legislation…is another missed opportunity for our state to add its weight to our nation’s overall push to thwart Iran’s nuclear race.”