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State raises ceiling on pension fund investment
The state's recent budget pact includes a potential bright spot for high-technology companies in the Pittsburgh area.
Legislators last month included a relatively obscure bill in the budget that may pump as much as $200 million worth of venture capital from two state pension funds into emerging businesses statewide over the next five to six years.
For technology industry advocates, it is one of the few nuggets of good news in a budget package in which Pennsylvania businesses in general have been hit hard by higher corporate taxes, new service taxes and a host of other costly provisions.
The provision, contained in Senate Bill No. 405, raised from 1 percent to 2 percent the amount of total assets that two state pension funds - the State Employees' Retirement System and the Public School Employees' Retirement System - are permitted to invest in venture capital partnerships. Typically, venture capital has the potential for higher risk and reward than other types of investments.
"This may appear to be a minor change," said William Lehr, chairman of the Pennsylvania MILRITE Council, in a prepared statement (MILRITE …