California Assembly Committee Approves “Divestment From Turkish Bonds” Bill

Bill Sponsor Thanks Armenian Assembly for Supporting Legislation

SACRAMENTO — The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) is pleased to report the passage of California State Assembly Bill 1597 (AB 1597), authored by Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D-46), in the State Assembly’s Appropriations Committee comes on the heels of the bill’s passage in April 2017, with a 5-0, in the State Assembly’s Committee on Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security (PERSS), chaired by Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D-52).

“I am humbled and grateful for my colleagues in the Assembly for joining with me to fight for justice for the 1.5 million Armenian souls who perished in the Genocide,” stated Assemblymember Nazarian. “If Turkey continues to fund Armenian Genocide deniers they must be financially punished,” he added.

Upon the enactment of federal law imposing sanctions on Turkey, AB 1597 would prohibit the boards of the California Public Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalTRS) from “making additional or new investments or renewing existing investments issued, owned, controlled, or managed by the government of Turkey.”

Prior to the vote in the PERSS Committee, the Armenian Assembly submitted a letter of support in favor of the passage of AB 1597. In the letter, the Armenian Assembly emphasizes that “a vote in favor of this bill would underscore California’s long standing commitment toward the protection of universal human and civil rights, and send a clear signal to repressive regimes the world over, that California invests in countries which do right by their representative citizens.”

“I am pleased to state that the strong written testimony submitted by the Armenian Assembly of America in support of AB 1597, contributed substantially towards the positive outcome in the Appropriations process,” said Assembly member Adrin Nazarian.

AB 1597 will now be debated and voted on by the entire California State Assembly. “The Armenian Assembly of American is grateful to California Assembly member Adrin Nazarian for sponsoring and spearheading AB 1597, and salutes the leadership of the Appropriations and PERSS committees for securing the bill’s approval. The Armenian Assembly looks forward to working with Assembly member Nazarian and fellow legislators in ensuring the bill’s passage on the State Assembly floor,” Assembly Western Region Director Mihran Toumajian said.

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