Skip to main content

The Oklahoman published an op-ed by Johnnie June Miller, a public school teacher, where she calls out extremists playing politics with the retirement funds of state employees.

From the op-ed, “The actions taken by state Treasurer Todd Russ at the direction of our state-elected officials have cost Oklahoma’s taxpayers, municipalities and businesses an estimated $185 million to date. A recent study conducted by the University of Central Oklahoma for the Oklahoma Rural Association found that recently enacted legislation is costing us nearly $11 million a month, hurting our ability to fund and build critical public projects.”

Miller is citing a recent study which found that the cost of Oklahoma’s extreme anti-responsible investing law (enforcement of which was recently halted by a judicial injunction) is being passed on to taxpayers and cities.

She continues, “State after state shows that inserting politics into the investment decisions for pension plans, schools, and state and local government projects is putting retirees and taxpayers at risk. This interference must stop. For the professionals at investment firms and banks, it’s not about any particular asset class. It’s about their fiduciary duty to prioritize returns for clients. Regardless of which way the political winds blow, all investment decisions must be made in the best interest of the beneficiaries.”

Miller is correct: across the country, states like Texas, Louisiana, and Kansas are facing significant financial burdens thanks to their radical laws targeting responsible investing. 

We’ll let her have the last word: “For Oklahoma taxpayers, the message should be clear: Lawmakers should not turn the political whims of the moment into obstacles for the investment strategies of taxpayers and current and future retirees. Enough of the political activism. Politicians and regulators should fight any restrictions that result in less competition, higher prices and lower returns. The politicization of investment strategies will only lead to harm.”