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POLITICS - Divestment stress

According to Wells Staley-Mays, the spokesperson for the group Fur Cultural Renewal of New England, the bill to require the state to divest about $50 million in holdings in war torn Sudan is in trouble (see "Squeezing Sudan," January 13). LD 1758, sponsored by Portland senator Ethan Strimling, was considered by the Maine legislature's Labor Committee in January. The committee decides whether to endorse or not endorse a bill before the larger vote on the House and Senate floors. According to an email sent by Staley-Mays to divestment supporters, the Maine State Retirement System did not speak for or against the bill, which is a bummer because the money invested in Sudan is there on behalf of MSRS. The next hearing on the bill is a work session on February 9. Staley-Mays is encouraging supporters of divestment, which the Fur group hopes will help strangle the violent government in the country, to contact the Republican members of the Labor Committee to lobby them to endorse the bill this week. Click here for more on the Labor Committee and who's on it.

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