California lawmakers seek to divest Russian investments
A bipartisan group of California lawmakers said Monday they plan to file legislation to get rid of all of the state's Russian investments after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire, a Democrat, said the bill would call on all state agencies to “divest from any and all Russian assets immediately.” McGuire said he believes the state has more than $1 billion in Russian investments, mostly in its pension funds.
U.S. President Joe Biden has announced extensive economic sanctions against Russia in response to the invasion. But McGuire said California, as the world's fifth largest economy, has “a unique and remarkable power” to do the same.
"We must use this power for good,” McGuire said in a news release. “We can help stop this autocratic thug, Putin, by advancing this critical legislation and enacting our own financial divestments.”
The investments make up a relatively small portion of the state's massive public pension fund. The California Public Employees' Retirement System surpassed $500 billion in assets for the first time last year, the Sacramento Bee reported. The California State Teachers' Retirement System finished the 202-21 fiscal year with $308.6 billion in assets.