Colorado Senate, House pass bill requiring state pension fund to oppose Israel boycott

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — The Colorado Senate passed a bill that would require the state’s pension fund to divest from companies that participate in a boycott against Israel.

The bill passed the state Senate Tuesday by a vote of 25-9. A similar bill previously passed the state House. The bills must now go to a conference committee for final approval

The bill requires Colorado’s Public Employees Retirement Association to divest from companies with economic prohibitions against Israel by Jan. 1 2017.

The pension fund has about $47 billion assets, Pension & Investment Online reported. The amount affected by the divestment requirement would be small, however.

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California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania and Tennessee have passed or are considering bills or resolutions taking action against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

The pension fund’s board of directors opposes the bill, saying they don’t want politics to influence investment decisions, the Associated Press reported. The retirement system already has divestment policies for companies doing business in Sudan and Iran, according to Pension & Investment Online.

The state’s governor supports the legislation, according to the AP.

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