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MOVING MONEY - Maine set to divest from Sudan

LD 1758, the bill which would require Maine's retirement system to give up its holdings in war-torn Sudan, is well on its way to becoming a law. The bill passed both the House and Senate earlier this week and is awaiting enactment and a signature from the governor, who has already pledged his support. The east African country Sudan has been crippled by a twenty year civil war and three years of genocide in the Darfur region. In Darfur, where much of the violence has lately been focused, some 200,000 people have been killed and up to 2 million people have had to flee their homes, according to a report in the New York Times.

The Maine State Retirement System has invested about $50 million in businesses located in Sudan or with close ties to Sudan, according to Strimling. The bill requires the state to reinvest those funds elsewhere, a move which is designed to put financial pressure on the Sudanese goverment to stop the violence.

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