Shapiro’s terror-free investing bill passes House
Bill would prohibit state funds from going to foreign companies tied to terrorist nations
HARRISBURG, June 25 – Today, the state House overwhelmingly passed legislation sponsored by deputy House speaker, Rep. Josh Shapiro, D-Montgomery, that would prohibit state pension funds from being invested in foreign companies tied to Iran and Sudan by a 185-15 vote.
Currently, state pension funds and the state treasurer invest over $100 billion collectively each year, an estimated 7 percent of which goes to foreign companies doing business in terror-sponsoring nations.
Shapiro’s bill (H.B. 1086), the Protecting Pennsylvania’s Investments Act, would give the state Treasurer’s Office, Public School Employees’ Retirement System and State Employees’ Retirement System roughly 22 months to divest its holdings in foreign companies that do business in Iran and Sudan.
“Prohibiting our pension funds from being invested in foreign companies that help terrorist supporting states is not only the right thing to do, it is the fiscally sound thing to do,” Shapiro said. “The risk occurs if we fail to divest and we instead continue to invest in these foreign companies that do business in these terror-sponsoring nations.”
Terror-free investing does not come at a cost. In fact, the 18 states that have adopted divestment legislation have not seen a downturn in their investment portfolios, and Wall Street has responded to the divestment movement by creating terror-free index funds that are outperforming funds with links to terror.
In closing, Shapiro said, “I am very pleased by the strong bipartisan support my legislation received in the state House, and I call upon the Senate to immediately pass this plan. It’s the morally right – and fiscally prudent — thing to do.”
House Bill 1086 now awaits Senate action.
Shapiro is deputy speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and represents the 153rd Legislative District in Montgomery County. For more information, please visit www.pahouse.com/Shapiro