The Maine Senate has given final approval to legislation that would require the Maine Public Employees Retirement system to divest its holdings in fossil fuel companies, and privately owned prisons. Lawmakers rejected arguments that the move would be unconstitutional.

One measure would require the retirement system to divest itself of interest in companies that own or manage fossil fuels, like oil and natural gas. The second measure would require the system to divest itself of any interest in companies that own or operate private prisons. Republican Sen. Rick Bennett of Oxford argued that the retirement system is constitutionally barred from taking direction on investments from the legislature.

The state constitution requires the retirement system to invest only on the basis of what provides the greatest return. Supporters of the bills argue it is good policy to get out of fossil fuel investments, and private prisons. They say the bills are crafted so they do not violate the constitution.

Megan Diver

Megan has worked in Maine politics for more than ten years and all of her professional career, having served in many roles for elected officials (including former Secretary of State Charlie Summers), in-house with the Maine Association of REALTORS®, legislative specialist at Pierce Atwood LLP providing lobbying services and support to Pierce Atwood’s government relations clients and most recently senior government relations specialist at the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. Megan currently is the Vice President at the Maine Energy Marketers Association, utilizing her vast knowledge and legislative experience at the State House to represent MEMA on policies relating to the Association and its members.