- Associated Press - Saturday, February 22, 2020

BOSTON (AP) - A bill that would make it easier for retirement systems to take their money out of fossil fuel companies is making its way through Beacon Hill.

The legislation would allow independent retirement systems throughout Massachusetts to divest funds under their control from the fossil fuel industry. The retirement systems currently are not permitted to divest from any sector without a legislative mandate.

A legislative committee this month gave the bill a favorable recommendation. It hasn’t yet come up for a vote by either the Massachusetts House or Senate.

Supporters of the bill say it’s a logical extension of other efforts the state is making to cut greenhouse gases and reduce its reliance on fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas.

Democratic state Rep. Dylan Fernandes - one of the sponsors of the bill - has said it makes no sense for lawmakers to pass legislation to combat the effects of climate change while continuing to mandate that public retirement systems spend public dollars investing in the fossil fuels that are destroying the planet.

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