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Jewish Journal

California State Senate passes Iran divestment bill

by Karmel Melamed

September 12, 2007 | 11:58 am

On Sept. 6, the California Senate unanimously approved a bill that would require state pension funds to divest an estimated $24 billion in investments from nearly 300 companies doing business with Iran.

“I am thrilled with the state Senate’s overwhelming bi-partisan support for this legislation, which will end California taxpayer’s investment in key foreign-owned companies that prop up the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the bill’s author, Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R- El Cajon), said in a written statement.

In early June, the California Assembly unanimously approved the bill, known as AB 221, and the governor is expected to sign it into law later this month. The bill has received wide support from California Iranian Americans of various faiths, as well as 17 state and national Jewish organizations. The state bill follows a similar one approved on July 31.

In June, Los Angeles became the first city in the country to approve its own Iran divestment measure. The state of Florida passed legislation in May barring $1 billion in its state pension fund from being invested in companies doing business with Iran and Sudan. Currently, Iran divestment bills are working their way through 12 additional states’ legislatures.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Karmel Melamed is an internationally-published freelance journalist based in Southern California.

Since 2000, Melamed has specialized in covering the growing influential...

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