California Senate to Introduce Russian Funds Divestiture Bill

A broad, bipartisan coalition of California Senators and Assemblymen, including Senate Majority Leader and North Coast State Senator Mike McGuire and North Coast Assemblyman Jim Wood , introduces a bill that will withdraw public funds from Russia and Russian state entities following the attack on the country. against Ukraine.

“The world is watching the atrocities taking place in Ukraine. It’s sickening,” Mike McGuire said. “We must stay strong for the Ukrainian people. This is why we must all mobilize to stop Russia in its tracks. California has a unique and remarkable economic power in this circumstance. As the world’s fifth largest economy, we must use this power for good. We can help stop this autocratic thug, Putin, by advancing this critical legislation and doing our own financial divestments.

The legislation would call on all state agencies, including huge California pension funds, CalPERS and CalSTRS, to immediately divest of all Russian assets, following in the footsteps of the federal government as President Joe Biden imposed and expanded sanctions against Russia. The legislation would also block the approval of state contracts to any company doing business with Russia.

According to the statement, California is believed to have Russian investments exceeding $1 billion, mostly in its pension funds.

“At this point, there can be no excuse to invest and support Putin, his oligarchs and the Russian economy. The Russian economy, not even in the top 10 world economies, is one of their big sticking points. pressure and California should use its power to exert influence where it can,” the statement said.

The delegation of senators and members of the National Assembly will also ask private companies based in California to divest themselves of their investments in the Russian economy.

This bill is supported by a broad and growing bipartisan coalition of senators and assembly members, including Senators Susan Eggman, Scott Wiener, Dave Cortese, Bill Dodd, Tom Umberg and Susan Rubio; and Assembly Members Kevin Mullin, Suzette Martinez Valladares, Jesse Gabriel, Evan Low, Phil Ting, Jim Wood, Marc Berman, Chad Mayes, Jordan Cunningham, Cristina Garcia, Laurie Davies, Cottie Petrie-Norris, Randy Voepel and Miguel Santiago.
“Russia’s unprovoked and unwarranted invasion of Ukraine is a threat to democratic freedoms and global stability. The loss of a life to satisfy the ego of a fragile tyrant is unconscionable and there must be consequences. This legislation builds on the strong economic sanctions imposed by the Biden administration and our allies,” said Deputy Senate Majority Leader Susan Eggman.
Read the full press release below.

California must use its economic might to help stop Putin

Sacramento, Calif. — Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire and a broad bipartisan coalition of California state lawmakers will introduce legislation to withdraw state funds from Russia and Russian state entities in the aftermath of the unprovoked war against Ukraine.

While the federal government has moved swiftly and aggressively to impose unprecedented sanctions on Russia and its leaders, California is the world’s fifth largest economy and enhanced state action could help the people of Ukraine by exerting pressure additional financial support on the countries already beaten. Russian economy.

“The world is watching the atrocities taking place in Ukraine. It’s sickening,” Sen. Mike McGuire said. “We must stay strong for the Ukrainian people. This is why we must all mobilize to stop Russia in its tracks. California has a unique and remarkable economic power in this circumstance. As the fifth largest economy in the world, we must use this power for good. We can help stop this autocratic thug, Putin, by advancing this critical legislation and doing our own financial divestments.

Senate Majority Leader McGuire and the Legislative Coalition will introduce a bill that will call on all state agencies, including the massive Golden State pension funds CalPERS and CalSTRS, to immediately divest all assets Russians.

California is believed to have Russian investments exceeding $1 billion, mostly in its pension funds. At this point, there can be no excuse to invest and support Putin, his oligarchs and the Russian economy.

Russia’s economy, which is not even in the top 10 of world economies, is one of their major pressure points and California should use its power to exert influence where it can.

The delegation will also ask private companies based in California to divest themselves of their investments in the Russian economy. In addition, the legislation would block the awarding of government contracts to any company doing business with Russia.

This bill is supported by a broad and growing bipartisan coalition of Senators and Assembly Members, including: Senators Susan Eggman, Scott Wiener, Dave Cortese, Bill Dodd, Tom Umberg and Susan Rubio; and Assembly Members Kevin Mullin, Suzette Martinez Valladares, Jesse Gabriel, Evan Low, Phil Ting, Jim Wood, Marc Berman, Chad Mayes, Jordan Cunningham, Cristina Garcia, Laurie Davies, Cottie Petrie-Norris, Randy Voepel and Miguel Santiago.

Deputy Senate Majority Leader Susan Eggman said, “Russia’s unprovoked and unwarranted invasion of Ukraine is a threat to democratic freedoms and global stability. The loss of a life to satisfy the ego of a fragile tyrant is unconscionable and there must be consequences. This legislation builds on the harsh economic sanctions imposed by the Biden administration and our allies.

Pro Tempore Assembly Speaker Kevin Mullin said, “As the world’s fifth-largest economy, California cannot sit on the sidelines as this rise in authoritarianism threatens democracy and freedom around the world. Vladimir Putin’s aggression against Ukraine demands severe sanctions, and I fully support California taking aggressive action to divest itself of Russian assets and financial institutions. I am proud to co-author this bill and the important message it sends.

Chairman of the Senate Labor, Public Employment, and Retirement Committee, Senator Dave Cortese, said, “As a state, it is our responsibility to ensure that we do not fuel this global crisis that has caused enormous human suffering. I hope other governments will follow California’s lead in standing up for peace and taking swift action against this unwarranted attack on Ukraine.

Senator Scott Wiener said: “Putin is a brutal fascist dictator. Its attempt to conquer Ukraine is an extreme violation of international law and creates a humanitarian catastrophe. We must not let this destructive invasion continue, which will have long-term consequences for peace and security in Europe. California should in no way support Putin’s corrupt oligarchy. We need to divest now.

Senator Bill Dodd said, “California stands with the people of Ukraine. I don’t enjoy sanctioning Russia, but Vladimir Putin’s horrific invasion and murder of Ukrainian civilians demands it. I call on other states and companies to follow suit – we must hold Russia accountable and help our Ukrainian brothers and sisters.

Assemblywoman Suzette Martinez Valladares said, “Like Californians across the state, I am disgusted by Putin’s brutal and illegal invasion of Ukraine. I’m proud to co-author this bill, which will leverage California’s economic strength to put significant pressure on Russia and support our friends in Ukraine. California’s state agencies and public pensions cannot help fund a dictator’s attempts to take over sovereign nations.

Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham said, “An unprovoked and unlawful invasion of a sovereign nation is grounds for divestment. California must stand with the Ukrainian people.

Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel said, “As the world’s fifth-largest economy and home to many of the world’s most iconic corporations, California is uniquely positioned to inflict enormous economic pain on the Putin regime. Russia’s unprovoked and unprovoked attack on Ukraine demands a swift and severe response. This legislation makes it clear that California will use all of its economic and political power to enforce U.S. and international sanctions, and that the Golden State will proudly stand with our international partners and the people of Ukraine at this difficult time.