INDIANAPOLIS — Hours after Russia launched an invasion into Ukraine, lawmakers in Indiana’s State House voted unanimously to block land sales connected to the Russian Federation.
State Rep. Ryan Dvorak (D-South Bend) on Thursday, Feb. 24, offered two amendments to Senate Bill 388, which deals with foreign gifts and ownership of agricultural land.
Dvorak’s amendment to prohibit businesses associated with the Russian Federation from purchasing real estate in Indiana unanimously passed the House of Representatives.
“The Russian Federation is a kleptocracy that launders its money through real estate transactions all over the world,” said Dvorak. “Our message today is that Indiana will not be a safe haven for ill-gotten Russian funds, nor for its oligarchs trying to find financial shelter in the wake of Putin’s unconscionable invasion of Ukraine.”
A second amendment offered by Dvorak would have required the State of Indiana to divest all pension assets from Russian-controlled businesses, but it was ruled out of order by a vote on procedural germaneness to the bill.
“Indiana invests nearly $40 billion dollars in public pension assets – and not one cent of that money should go toward propping up Russia’s tyrannical regime,” said Dvorak, a long-time critic of Putin’s policy in Ukraine, who first filed language to divest pensions funds from Russia in 2017.
He added, “While I am disappointed that the House did not pass divestment legislation today … the amendment that did pass with unanimous support barring Russian real estate investment in Indiana sets an important precedent that I hope other states will soon follow.”