Senators Santarsiero and Phillips-Hill Announce Legislation to Protect State Investments in Israel

HARRISBURG – June 7th, 2024 – Senators Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-28) announced legislation to uphold Pennsylvania’s steadfast support for Israel by prohibiting holdings in the Pennsylvania State Treasury or Commonwealth pension funds from boycotting or divesting from Israel and companies doing business with Israel.  The bill will also withhold state funding from any institution of higher learning that boycotts or divests from Israel.

The legislation is being introduced in the wake of protests this spring on college campuses across the United States, during which in some cases protesters were successful in getting universities to consider divesting from Israel and companies that do business with the Israeli government.

“It is important that Pennsylvania continue to promote trade and commercial activities with Israel given Israel’s strategic importance to the United States as a long-standing ally and the only true democracy in a volatile region of the world,” said Senator Santarsiero.  “To that end, we must act to prevent our Commonwealth, including our colleges and universities, from taking the wholly unwarranted action of divesting from Israel.”

“Policymakers at all levels of government need to do everything possible to support our nation’s number one ally in the Middle East: Israel,” said Senator Phillips-Hill.  “Like America, Israel will not be bullied by detractors. A strong and prosperous Israel needs a strong partner in the United States. This bipartisan measure will ensure that no one can use antisemitic tactics to weaken our resolve to stand with Israel.” 

The legislation will have no impact on investment decisions made solely in advancing the financial position of the funds.

Senator Santarsiero first sponsored similar legislation in 2015 to prohibit the state from giving funds to any Pennsylvania university that divests from Israel.

Senators Santarsiero and Phillips-Hill plan to introduce the legislation in the coming weeks.

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