New Law Will Enhance Current Divestiture Law and Ensure Taxpayer Dollars are Not Invested in Companies Doing Business with Iranian Energy Interests Los Angeles, CA — Assembly Bill 1151, the Divest From Iran Act, went into effect on January 1, 2012. The new law, authored by Assembly Members Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) and Bob Blumenfield (DSan Fernando Valley), enhances California’s current divestiture law and brings new levels of transparency and accountability to California’s public pension funds, helping ensure that taxpayer dollars do not go toward investing in companies that do business with Iranian energy interests.
“This new law underscores that complying with California’s divestment laws is mandatory,” said Feuer. “As one of the world’s largest economies, California can take a meaningful stand against companies that choose to fund Iran’s nuclear ambitions by investing in its energy sector. By signing AB 1151, the Governor has sent the message that this responsibility will be taken seriously.” “CalPERS has ignored the law requiring divestment from Iran for too long,” said Blumenfield. “This new law will help us fight to keep CalPERS accountable. If CalPERS refuses to abide by the law, it must publicly disclose why.”
Assembly Members Feuer and Blumenfield have been waging a multi-prong campaign to ensure that California’s financial resources are not invested in companies doing business in Iran’s energy sector and not used to bolster Iran’s nuclear weapons development or extremist activities. Last year, they authored the Iran Contracting Act of 2010, which prohibits contracts of $1 million or more between the State of California (including its cities and counties) and companies with significant business in Iran’s energy sector. AB 1650 also passed with bipartisan support. Recently, Feuer and Blumenfield contacted legislative leaders around the country urging them to become part of a national network asserting financial pressure to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions by advancing similar contractual divestment legislation.