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Oregon launches database to track public investments

Oregon state capitol
Chris Lehman
Oregon's Department of Treasury has launched a new database that will make it easier for the public to see how it voted in public shareholder meetings.

The Oregon Department of Treasury has launched a new tool to track how the state invests.

The agency manages nearly $100 billion in public employee retirement funds. Around 400,000 public workers are beneficiaries.

It means Oregon is a shareholder in publicly traded companies around the world.

Previously, if you wanted details on how Oregon used its shareholder votes, you’d need to make a public records request.

State Treasurer Tobias Read said now, all that is online.

“They’re sortable, so you could look at any company you’re interested in, going back years, what were the votes that were in front of that particular company, and how did Oregon cast our vote,” he said.

For instance, you can see if Oregon voted to raise CEO compensation, or invest in initiatives that address climate change.

Last year, the state cast more than 108,000 shareholder votes.

“We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for people to see how we are voting our shares in the interests of the beneficiaries we serve,” said Read, who said the database will help the public track one aspect of his goal to decarbonize Oregon’s investments by 2050. That plan goes before the board that oversees Oregon’s investments next year.

The database is operated by the same organization that represents Oregon at many corporate meetings, Glass Lewis, and can be found on the treasury department’s website.

Rebecca Hansen-White joined the KLCC News Department in November, 2023. Her journalism career has included stops at Spokane Public Radio, The Spokesman-Review, and The Columbia Basin Herald.