PA Pension Divestment Measure Sails through Senate

May 10, 2010 ( – The Pennsylvania state Senate has approved a measure mandating that the Keystone State’s two largest pension funds and the state’s Treasury Department divest holdings in companies linked to Iran or Sudan.

The Associated Press reported that the Senate bill sailed through the chamber on a 42 to 7 vote; the House has already approved a similar measure.

The sponsor, state Senator Mike Stack of Philadelphia, said in a separate statement released by his office that 28 other states have adopted similar divestment policies (see MO House Okays Terror Investment Ban). He called the bill a moral and fiscally responsible way to combat terrorism and genocide.

Stack’s proposal (
Senate Bill 928) would not apply to mutual funds, hedge funds or other investment vehicles that invest in such companies, the Associated Press report said.

“As a civilized Commonwealth, and as one of the states that was directly impacted by the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, Pennsylvania cannot and will not associate itself with rogue nations that sponsor genocide and terrorism,” Stack said in his statement. “Companies that choose to conduct business with nations that sponsor terrorism or murder their own people should not be supported by Pennsylvania tax dollars.”

According to the Stack news announcement, at a Senate Appropriations budget meeting in February, officials of one state pension program indicated that they were already steadily reducing investments in companies investing in Sudan and Iran.