CA Assembly Gives Full Nod to Iran Divestment Bill

June 9, 2007 ( - The California Assembly passed a measure that would force the state's pension funds to divest their holdings in Iran-linked companies, pushing along legislation that has been criticized by the two funds as too sweeping.

The Assembly overwhelming passed an Iran divestment measure with an initial 68-0 vote and will now send the bill to the Senate.

The two mammoth pension funds have been vocal about their intentions to resist a bill that would require the $250 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the $168 billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) to dump holdings in foreign companies doing business in Iran(See CalPERS Balks at Iran Divestment Move  and CalSTRS Opposes Broad Investment Bans ).

Particularly, the legislation would bar investment in companies which may have engaged in business operations with entities in the defense, oil, nuclear, or natural gas sectors of Iran, or are engaged in other business operations with an Iranian organization labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S. government.

Trustees of the two largest public  California funds previously voted to avoid Sudan-linked investments.