Legislation: In 2009, the $28.3 billion Arizona State Retirement System and the $7 billion Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System were required to divest from any entity with more than $20 million invested in Iran’s petroleum sector (1).
Effect: Any effect has been minor due to the divestment cessation/ reinvestment provision, which states that funds can “cease divestment from or reinvest in scrutinized companies if the value of the impacted account is 0.5% less than without divestment.”
Key actors: Then-Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano signed the divestment law, which was sponsored by State Representative Jonathan Paton. Arizona House Speaker David Gowan and House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro are leading the charge for a Defund Iran-sponsored ballot initiative in 2016.
Of note: Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has vowed to maintain Arizona’s sanctions in a letter to President Obama co-signed by 14 other Republican governors (2). Arizona is one of five states in which a Defund Iran-sponsored initiative requiring states divest funds from all businesses with ties to Iran may appear on a November 2016 ballot (3).