Landmark Turkish Divestment Bill Clears First Senate Hearing 4-0

SACRAMENTO – Monday, June 25, AB 1597, the Divestment from Turkish Bonds Act, passed the Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee by a vote of 4-0, with one abstention, continuing a historic movement to hold Turkey accountable for their continued denial of the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians.

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

AB 1597 prohibits the boards of the California Public Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teachers’s Retirement System (CalSTRS) from making additional or new investments, or renewing existing investments described above within six months of the passage of federal sanctions on Turkey.

The bill also requires the boards of CalPERS and CalSTRS to submit reports to the Legislature and the Governor, within a year of when the federal government issues sanctions against Turkey. The report will detail a list of investments that they have already liquidated and a list of investments that potentially can be liquidated.

AB 1597 will now be debated and voted on by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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