TALLAHASSEE, Fla - The state is holding onto 170 million dollars worth of BP stock and bonds despite its falling value and the financial trouble the company is causing Florida.
Dropping the stock will be one of the issues discussed when the state’s investment board meets again in September.
When Florida sued the tobacco industry in 1995… The state couldn’t get rid of its cigarette stock fast enough. Then Governor Lawton Chiles spearheaded the decision to sell; believing it was hypocritical to attack tobacco and still invest in its future.
Lawton’s son Bud, who is running for governor, sees a similar scenario with the 170 million dollars the state holds in BP stocks and bonds. But Bud says the decision to sell should be weighted carefully. “This is very uncertain company at a very uncertain time, and it is something that the state should really look hard at.”
One of the state officials charged with overseeing pension fund investments is Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. Sink says the board should consider selling. “It should clearly be on the radar.”
Adding fuel to the fire is BP’s falling value. BP stock has lost 67 million dollars worth of its value since the oil rig exploded April 20th.
The State Board of Administration isn’t worried about the falling value, because the state pension is valued at 113 billion dollars… and its investments are long term.