SACRAMENTO – Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 20 authored by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), requiring the state’s two largest pension systems to submit a report on investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
AB 20 also requires the boards of administration of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) to review and consider factors related to tribal sovereignty and indigenous tribal rights as part of the boards’ investment policies related to environmental, social, and governance issues.
“I am thrilled that Governor Brown has signed AB 20 into law, highlighting a core debate over how large institutional investors like the state’s two largest retirement funds can influence companies to be better social actors,” said Assemblymember Kalra. “Although California is not directly impacted by the Dakota Access Pipeline, it is important for the state to uphold its core values and affect a more focused dialogue on these critical issues. AB 20 is a representation of our efforts to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and speaks to our shared goals of decreasing dependence on fossil fuels and respecting the sovereign rights of Native American Tribes and indigenous communities.”
Soon after being elected to the California State Assembly, Assemblymember Kalra travelled to Cannon Ball, North Dakota, to stand with and support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in its opposition to the proposed routing of DAPL through its culturally and environmentally sensitive lands. Moments after being sworn into office, AB 20 became Assemblymember Kalra’s first piece of legislation he introduced.
AB 20 was passed by the Legislature last month with wide support from organizations across the state, including the California Teachers Association, California Nurses Association, California Professional Firefighters, National Association of Social Workers and Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, as well as the Yurok Tribe, California’s largest federally recognized Tribe.