Rep. Adam Schiff and members of Congress seek passage of AB 1597

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) and nine other members of Congress are pushing California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León to support legislation that would stop using state public pension funds to invest in vehicles owned, controlled or managed by the Turkish government.

Schiff and his colleagues are asking de León to give his support to Assembly Bill 1597, which would prohibit the administration boards of the Public Employees’ Retirement System and State Teachers’ Retirement System from making new or additional investments, or renewing any existing investments of public retirement funds for vehicles used by Turkey, according to the Assembly bill.

“California has acted in the past to prohibit new investments by its pension funds in sectors that are inimical to our state’s values, such as the 2015 state law mandating divestment from coal companies,” wrote Schiff and his colleagues in their letter to de León that was released Wednesday. “The narrowly drafted AB 1597 proposal is an appropriate use of that authority, blocking future investments directly owned by the Turkish government, such as government bonds.”

On June 1, AB 1597 passed the state Assembly on a 67-0 vote. The legislation, which was authored by Rep. Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) and Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Palmdale), is currently being reviewed by the Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee.

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