MA Senate Passes Divestment Measure

July 6, 2007 ( - The Massachusetts Senate last week passed legislation that will force the investment management board for the state's pension assets to divest nearly $70 million of its holdings in companies doing business with Sudan.

According to, the bill calls for the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (PRIM) to dump its Sudan-linked holdings over the course of the 12 months. This includes investments in six companies, representing approximately 15% of PRIM’s $50 billion in pension assets.

The bill would give the board the option to opt-out of divesting from a company if it will negatively impact investment returns, the news report said.

If the measure passes muster in the House, Massachusetts will become the next on the roster of state legislatures forcing their public pension funds to divest holdings in such companies in an effort to put economic pressure on the Sudanese government to stop the violence in Darfur. (See Doing the Right Thing? ).