Changes considered for Permanent Fund

January 31, 2009 

JUNEAU -- Lawmakers are again considering legislation that would require the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. to divest itself of investments in Sudan because of the violence in Darfur.

Three bills have been introduced this year, including one from Gov. Sarah Palin. They were heard in the House State Affairs Committee last week.

Revenue Commissioner Pat Galvin says the governor's bill addresses some concerns that Permanent Fund officials had with similar legislation last year. Galvin is also a member of the Permanent Fund board.

Galvin says that earlier legislation would have resulted in unintended costs to the state and required the state to pull out of some companies that were not being targeted.

Galvin says the new mechanism would allow the divestment to take place within nine months. He estimates the state has about $3.5 million invested in a handful of companies doing business with Sudan.

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