AND THE STUPIDITY ON BEACON HILL CONTINUES – > HOW ABOUT DIVESTING FROM BIG PHARMA

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AND THE STUPIDITY CONTINUES – > HOW ABOUT DIVESTING FROM BIG PHARMA.
Massachusetts Retirement pension fund Should divest from Big Pharma.

Addiction kills thousands more than guns do every year

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PENSION FUND WOULD DIVEST FROM GUN COMPANIES UNDER NEW BILL

By Matt Murphy
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, MARCH 15, 2018……Treasurer Deborah Goldberg has partnered with two Democratic lawmakers to file legislation that would require the state pension fund to divest from companies that manufacture guns and ammunition.

The bill is the latest salvo in the fight against gun violence following the tragic shooting at Florida high school that killed 17 and sparked a nationwide debate over access to firearms. While Bay State leaders typically cheer the state’s already strict gun access laws, some officials have found areas where they believe the laws can be improved.

Gun manufacturers, such as Smith & Wesson headquartered in Springfield, have also started to come under scrutiny.

“It is clear that traditional approaches have not worked. Divesting our public pension funds from gun and ammunition manufacturers sends a clear message that we stand with the victims and survivors of gun violence everywhere,” Goldberg said in a statement.

The bill was filed Thursday in the House by Rep. Lori Ehrlich, of Marblehead, and in the Senate by Sen. Cynthia Creem, of Newton. Ehrlich compared the proposal to the decision made in Massachusetts years ago to divest state pension assets from tobacco companies.

“As gun violence tears at the fabric of our nation and Congress is unable to act even in the face of overwhelming support, it is time for state stewards to ensure our retirement savings and pension funds are not profiting from that violence,” Ehrlich said.

The bill would require the Pension Reserves Investment Management Board to withdraw any holdings in companies that derive 15 percent or more of their revenues from the sale or manufacture, of ammunition, firearms or firearms accessories for civilian use.

The Legislature has previously ordered PRIM to divest from companies that gain much of their revenue from tobacco or do business in Iran, Sudan and Northern Ireland.

As of Jan. 31, PRIM held equity stakes in six companies that would fall under the divestiture order totaling $5 million in holdings out of $72 billion. The directive to divest could be ignored if the PRIM board can show that its fund would lose more than half a percent, or $350 million, as a result.

“This bill asks our Massachusetts public pension fund managers to no longer invest in companies that manufacture guns and ammunition,” Creem said in a statement. “By enacting this bill, Massachusetts will stand with thousands of individuals and entities exercising their right as consumers to send the message that we must do more to stop gun violence.”

END
03/15/2018

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