Lawmakers want the state to end investments in companies that help fund genocide in Sudan. State Senator Shelia Harsdorf (R-River Falls) says Wisconsin has nearly $100 million invested in companies that do business with the Sudanese government, which may be helping to fund millions of killings in Darfur. Harsdorf says about two dozen companies are providing the government with the funding it needs to continue with the genocide.
Harsdorf and State Representative Fred Kessler (D-Milwaukee) are introducing legislation that requires the state to divest its interests in those companies. Kessler says the proposal is written so that it will prevent the state from hurting its investments. Most of the investments targeted in the bill are tied to the state pension fund.
Sudanese refugee August Mayai attended a Capitol press conference Wednesday announcing the bill. The UW-Madison student fled the country in 1989 at the age of seven. Mayai says he was recently able to finally get in touch with his brother, only to find his parents and many other family members had been killed since he fled the country. Mayai says the state needs to help send an economic message that the Sudanese government will understand.