ASSEMBLY, No. 2901

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

INTRODUCED MAY 5, 1997

 

 

By Assemblyman GUSCIORA and Assemblywoman TURNER

 

 

An Act prohibiting use of certain Swiss financial institutions in connection with any sale of the State temporary disability benefits plan and supplementing P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et seq.).

 

    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

    1. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, the State shall not employ in any capacity whatsoever in connection with a sale of the State temporary disability benefits plan, established pursuant to sections 13 through 18 of P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-37 et seq.), any financial institution organized under the laws of Switzerland which holds assets of Holocaust victims and which has not agreed to account for these assets and arrange for their return to the Holocaust victims or the rightful heirs of the Holocaust victims. The State Treasurer shall be responsible for ensuring that no institution which is disqualified under the provisions of this section shall be employed by the State in connection with such a sale. Any financial institution employed by the State in connection with a sale of the plan shall certify in writing that it is not disqualified from that employment under the provisions of this section.

 

    2. This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

    This bill would prohibit the State from employing in any capacity whatsoever, in connection with a sale of the State's temporary disability benefits plan, any financial institution organized under the laws of Switzerland which holds assets of Holocaust victims and which has not agreed to account for these assets and arrange for their return to the Holocaust victims or the rightful heirs of the Holocaust victims. It provides that the State Treasurer shall ensure that no institution which is disqualified under the bill's provisions is employed by the State in connection with such a sale. The bill also requires any financial institution employed by the State in connection with a sale of the plan to certify in writing that it is not disqualified from that employment under the bill's provisions.

    As a result of hearings conducted by the United States Senate Banking Committee, it has come to public attention that certain Swiss banks misused funds deposited by European Jews before and during World War II. In some cases, these banks are still withholding these assets from the depositors or the depositor's heirs. The State contracted with one such bank, Credit Suisse, to act as financial advisor in connection with the proposed sale of the State's temporary disability benefits plan. It is the purpose of this bill to ensure that no bank which continues to profit from this historic injustice benefits by doing business with the State of New Jersey.

 

 

                             

 

Prohibits use of Swiss financial institution which holds assets of Holocaust victims in connection with sale of State temporary disability benefits plan.