SACRAMENTO — AB 1597, the Divestment from Turkish Bonds Act, passed the California State Assembly in a historic vote on Thursday to hold Turkey accountable for their continued denial of the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians.
“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 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’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) from making additional or new investments, or renewing existing investments issued, owned, controlled, or managed by the government of Turkey.
The boards shall liquidate investments only upon action taken by the federal government. More specifically, CalPERS and CalSTRS must liquidate any of the investments described above within six months of the passage of a federal law imposing sanctions on Turkey.
This 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 Tukey. 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 in the California State Senate. Senator Scott Wilk (R-Antelope Valley) is the principal co-author in the Senate.