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February 21, 2019 12:06 pm

Kansas Treasurer Introduces Bill Permitting the State to Invest in Israel Bonds

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Kansas State Treasurer Jake LaTurner. Photo: Jake LaTurner/Facebook. – Kansas State Treasurer Jake LaTurner has introduced a bill that would allow Kansas to invest in Israel Bonds.

“This legislation is an important step in diversifying our portfolio,” said LaTurner. “Twenty-eight other states across the country have similar authority and have seen bipartisan support when their legislature weighs in. It is also an opportunity to strengthen a relationship with a long-time trade partner with Kansas that is very well connected in the world of business, agriculture, technology and health care.”

If enacted, Kansas would join states such as Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas as states investing in Israel Bonds, which is the US sponsor of debt securities issued by Israel’s government.

Legislation must be enacted in order to purchase Israel Bonds.

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This bill would permit the state’s Pooled Money Investment Board to invest up to 2 percent of the state’s inactive funds in bonds sold by the State of Israel. Since Israel began selling bonds more than five decades ago, it has never defaulted. In the past half-decade, American sales of Israel Bonds have exceeded $1 billion.

The Israel education group StandWithUs applauded the move, saying there’s no better place to invest than in the Jewish homeland.

“Kansas will hopefully join 28 states who have similar bipartisan support for investing in Israel. It’s a very safe option,” said SWU CEO Roz Rothstein. “Since Israel began selling bonds, they have never missed a principal or income payment to their creditors.”

“Also Israel Bonds have a higher rate of return than even US treasuries,” she continued. “Most importantly, it gives Kansas the opportunity to show support for their best ally in the Middle East.”

Kansas is one of more than two-dozen states that have enacted measures that prohibit state contractors from boycotting Israel.

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