HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Russian invasion of Ukraine is spurring Pennsylvania lawmakers to draft legislation to require the state Treasury Department and the state’s three public pension funds to divest holdings connected to Russia.
State Treasurer Stacy Garrity tells abc27 that the commonwealth began divesting all of its Russian holdings last week after Russia heightened the conflict.
“We went ahead and immediately began divesting our holdings in Russian-based companies.”
The commonwealth deprived 31 Russian companies at a value of $2.9 million, which is less than .01 percent of their holdings.
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Divestiture legislation was also being drafted Monday in the House by Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre, and in the Senate by State Sen. Sharif Street, D-Philadelphia.
“We have a moral obligation to ensure that our public fund investments are not inadvertently supporting those who are engaging in an unprovoked invasion of their democratically elected neighbors,” Benninghoff said in a note to House members.
In a memo to fellow senators, Street said the “aggressive and illegal invasion of Ukraine demands action.”
“We must wield our economic power to ensure that Russia faces grave consequences for their flagrant violations of international law and human cooperation,” Street wrote.
Lawmakers in 2010 required the divestment of investments related to Iran and Sudan.
Over the weekend, Pennsylvania ordered the removal of Russian-made products from state-owned liquor stores and Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration lit the front of the Capitol in the yellow and blue colors of Ukraine’s flag.