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ACR-4 University of California: divestment from Iran.(2009-2010)

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ACR4:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2009–2010 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Concurrent Resolution
No. 4


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Anderson

December 02, 2008


Relative to the investments of the University of California.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


ACR 4, as introduced, Anderson. University of California: divestment from Iran.
This measure would call upon the University of California to fully implement the California Public Divest from Iran Act which prohibits the investment of public employee retirement funds in foreign companies with business activities in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Fiscal Committee: YES  

WHEREAS, Chapter 671 of the Statutes of 2007 (AB 221), which created the California Public Divest from Iran Act, was approved by the Senate by a vote of 36 to 0, and by the Assembly by a vote of 76 to 0, and was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger on October 14, 2007; and
WHEREAS, The California Public Divest from Iran Act prohibits the Public Employees’ Retirement System and the State Teachers’ Retirement System from investing public employee retirement funds in a company with business operations in Iran that is invested in or engaged in business operations with entities in the defense or nuclear sectors of Iran, or a company that is invested or engaged in business operations with entities involved in the development of petroleum or natural gas resources of Iran, and that company is subject to sanctions under federal law, as specified, or the company is engaged in business operations with an Iranian organization that has been labeled as a terrorist organization by the United States government; and
WHEREAS, The University of California currently invests retirement funds in publicly traded foreign companies that may be subject to the Public Employees’ Retirement System’s and the State Teachers’ Retirement System’s implementation of the California Public Divest from Iran Act and California law regarding divestment from such companies; and
WHEREAS, The University of California should comply with the spirit and intent of Assembly Bill 221; and
WHEREAS, Investments in publicly traded foreign companies that have business operations in or with foreign states such as Iran are liable for sanctions under United States law, subject to the California Public Divest from Iran Act, and risk the pensions of the dedicated employees of the University of California who are members of the University of California retirement system, as well as the university’s financial holdings generally; and
WHEREAS, Divesting from companies subject to the provisions of Assembly Bill 221 and with business activities in foreign states, such as Iran, that sponsor terrorism and excluding them from the investment portfolios of the University of California will help protect the financial security of the University of California from investment losses related to these business activities and may improve the performance of the university’s investment portfolios; and
WHEREAS, In Assembly Bill 221, the Legislature found that “It is unconscionable for this state to invest in foreign companies with business activities benefitting foreign states such as Iran, that commit egregious violations of human rights and sponsor terrorism”; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby calls upon the University of California to fully implement the provisions of Assembly Bill 221 as to its retirement system investments.
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.