News Releases - December 2020


Treasurer Torsella Brings Shareholder Action For Gilead Oversight

Accountability needed for missteps in pandemic response at maker of COVID treatment drug

Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella today co-filed a shareholder proposal at Gilead, maker of remdesivir (brand name: Veklury), the only antiviral drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat cases of COVID-19. The shareholder proposal, filed by Treasurer Torsella, Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner, and United Church Funds calls for an independent board chair on the Gilead board of directors. An independent board chair ensures that management of the company is held accountable for missteps and misconduct that harm patients and investors, such as Gilead’s recent unfair pricing of remdesivir, at more than 500 times its production cost according to one study, during a pandemic.


Treasurer Torsella Announces Groundbreaking Boost To Keystone Scholars For Low Income Families

New $50 Bright Future Booster, in addition to $100 starter deposits, benefits babies born to mothers enrolled in WIC program. Program still does not use any taxpayer dollars.

Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella today announced the new Bright Future Booster for the Keystone Scholars program. The additional automatic $50 deposit will benefit all Pennsylvania babies born to mothers enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) from January 2021 through June of 2021. This $50 for WIC families is in addition to the $100 Keystone Scholars starter deposit available to every baby born to or adopted by a Pennsylvania family to jumpstart savings for postsecondary career or college education.


Lee Raymond To Leave J.P. Morgan Board, Following Investor Climate Concerns From Treasurer Torsella And Others

Former Exxon CEO will no longer serve on board that largely finances fossil fuel industry

Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella today issued a statement, following Lee Raymond’s resignation as Lead Independent Director at J.P. Morgan. Raymond is the former CEO at Exxon Corporation, and helped shape the fossil fuel industry into its current form, while downplaying concerns about climate change and stifling investment in renewable energy sources. In May, Treasurer Torsella, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, and New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli joined Majority Action to stand firm against Raymond’s re-nomination to the board due to his overwhelming influence in J.P. Morgan’s financing decisions of fossil fuel industry players like Exxon-Mobil.


Treasurer Torsella Calls For Independent Board Chair At Facebook

Group of 6 institutional investors join to call for independent oversight

Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella announced today his office co-filed a shareholder proposal at Facebook, calling for an independent board chair to oversee company decisions. A group of 6 investors have re-filed this proposal, which has been widely supported by non-insider shareholders, with increasing majorities, in previous years. The proposal will receive a shareholder vote at Facebook’s 2021 Annual Shareholder Meeting.


Treasurer Torsella Recommends Exploring Use Of Pension Obligation Bonds To Ease State Pension Burdens

POBs, along with other measures, could help alleviate COVID-19 budget strain and counteract negative effects of previous underfunding at SERS and PSERS

Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella today announced his plan and support for the General Assembly to consider pension obligation bonds (POBs) to help address the outstanding unfunded liabilities of the state’s largest pension systems—Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) and Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS).


Treasurer Torsella Commits To Ensure Continuation Of Penndot Road And Bridge Projects

Treasurer Torsella prepared to ensure availability of funds to prevent disruption of PennDOT road and bridge projects

Harrisburg, PA - In response to an inquiry from Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, and in consultation with Senate leadership and the Governor’s Budget Office, Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella today announced steps his office is prepared to take to ensure sufficient funds are available to prevent immediate shutdowns of highway and safety projects throughout the commonwealth that had been threatened as early as this month due to lack of funding.