Lawmakers want to make sure Massachusetts isn’t funding Congo conflict

Calls for review of procurement policies regarding products that may contain minerals from war-torn country

BOSTON (State House News Service) – The House and Senate on Tuesday sent Gov. Charlie Baker a resolve directing his administration to review state procurement policies regarding products that may contain extracted minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The resolve (S 2463) began moving during lightly attended informal sessions this month. It requires an Executive Office of Administration and Finance report on best practices “to ensure that products are not indirectly financing armed conflict or resulting in human rights violations,” according to a bill summary. The resolve is sponsored by Sen. Thomas McGee of Lynn, the former chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, and Reps. Ruth Balser, Jay Livingstone and Aaron Vega.

The legislation (S 1682) that served as the basis for the resolve would have banned publicly traded companies that fail to comply with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act from contracting with the state. That federal law included a provision aimed at choking off funding to armed groups that bill supporters say “killed more than six million people and turned the Congo into the rape capital of the world.”