California lawmakers took the first step Wednesday toward ending state investment in companies that do business with Iran, targeting the portfolios of the two largest public pension funds in the US.
The 4-1 vote by the state Assembly Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committee advanced legislation that would force the retirement funds to sell about $24 billion in shares. Supporters who included both Republicans and Democrats said California taxpayers should not be supporting a terrorist state.
The bill would have to be passed by both houses of the California legislature and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.