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California legislators plan to introduce a bill that would force the state’s giant pension funds to divest any Russian assets, joining lawmakers in other states trying to squeeze the country over its war in Ukraine.

The bill, which is expected to be introduced in the next few days, would require the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, as well as all other state agencies, to divest the assets, while also asking California companies to do the same. It also would block the awarding of state contracts to companies doing business with Russia.

“The world is watching the atrocities taking place in Ukraine. It’s sickening,” Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) said in a statement. “California has 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 enacting our own financial divestments.”

The bill would contain an urgency clause that would have it take effect immediately once passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor.

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