Gov. Justice calls emergency meeting


Discussing Russian investments

Staff Report



Pictured is Gov. Jim Justice at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the completion of U.S. 35 in Putnam County last November.

Pictured is Gov. Jim Justice at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the completion of U.S. 35 in Putnam County last November.


OVP File Photo

CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice announced earlier this week, in his role as Chairman of the West Virginia Investment Management Board (WVIMB), he is calling for an emergency meeting of the Investment Committee of the WVIMB on Tuesday, March 8, to discuss the fund’s investment in Russian-backed securities.

According to a news release from the governor’s office, he will ask the Investment Committee, through his designee, Secretary of Revenue Dave Hardy, to re-evaluate its financial exposure to Russian-backed securities and to also consider a resolution which would state the WVIMB’s position that investment in any Russian-backed securities is unacceptable going forward in light of the current crisis in Ukraine.

“We continue to witness unspeakable human atrocities being committed by the Russian government against the people of Ukraine, and even though this action may seem small, everything we can do to help is worth it,” Gov. Justice said.

Currently, approximately 0.2% of the WVIMB’s total assets are invested in Russian-backed securities. Due to current geopolitical legal and regulatory restrictions, it is very unlikely that those assets can be divested at this time. However, going forward, the WVIMB has discretion to disallow any further investments in Russian-backed securities.

The WVIMB is the entity responsible for the long-term investments of the State of West Virginia. The vast majority of the assets that the WVIMB manages consists of the State’s defined benefit retirement plans. The remaining assets that the WVIMB invests are State and local government funds such as insurance and risk pool funds, endowment funds, municipal pensions, and trust funds.

The WVIMB consists of 13 members. Three of them – the Governor, the State Auditor, and the State Treasurer – serve by virtue of their political office. The remaining 10 are appointed by the governor.

Also this week, during Monday’s press briefing, Gov. Justice reported there were 1,909 active cases of COVID-19 statewide; the first daily active case total under 2,000 since July 28, 2021. Total active cases have reportedly decreased by more than 91% over the past six weeks.

“We’re continuing to watch and all of our numbers and maps look significantly better,” Gov. Justice said.

Since nearing peak capacity in early February, COVID-related hospitalizations in West Virginia are down 63%, ICU patients are down 58%, and patients on ventilators are down 63%, stated s news release from the governor.

An updated breakdown of the West Virginia County Alert Map is as follows:

Red (0) | Orange (1) | Gold (1) | Yellow (8) | Green (45).

Still, after reading the ages and locations of another 12 individuals who have passed away from COVID-19 since Friday last week, Gov. Justice continued to urge West Virginians to get vaccinated and boosted.

“The most important thing I can tell you is to get vaccinated and get your booster shot,” Gov. Justice said. “These vaccines have been tremendously effective and they have been a blessing from God above.

“If you haven’t gotten vaccinated, you probably should think really hard about doing that because, as sure as I know my name, there’s a likelihood that this is not over,” Gov. Justice continued. “We’re very happy that summer is on the way, bringing sunshine and better temperatures. But, nevertheless, we all need to try to be as smart and as safe as we possibly can.”

Initial series vaccinations are available for free for all West Virginians ages 5 and older and booster shots are authorized and encouraged for all West Virginians ages 12 and older. Read more about vaccines and boosters at Vaccinate.wv.gov and at CDC.gov.

Information provided by news release from the governor’s office.

Pictured is Gov. Jim Justice at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the completion of U.S. 35 in Putnam County last November.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2022/03/web1_11.12-Jim.jpgPictured is Gov. Jim Justice at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the completion of U.S. 35 in Putnam County last November. OVP File Photo
Discussing Russian investments

Staff Report