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Bill targets companies involved in building border wall

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego state legislator and two other Assembly members Monday introduced a bill that would require California’s pension funds to divest from companies involved in building the border wall championed by President Donald Trump.

Assembly Bill 946 — the Resist the Wall Act — was co-authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego, and Assemblymen Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, and Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella.

“The state’s contracting and investment practices should reflect the values of our state,” said Gonzalez Fletcher. “It’s clear the people of California don’t want to invest in the hateful values that the Trump wall represents.”

Ting called the wall that would separate the U.S. and Mexico a “Wall of Shame.”

Garcia said, “It is counterproductive to invest in projects that will not serve the best interest of all Californians.”

The bill would require the California Public Employee Retirement System and the California State Teachers Retirement System to liquidate within one year any investments in companies involved in the construction of the wall. The funds are the two largest of their type in the U.S.

The pension funds would also be required to report to the Legislature and the governor by Jan. 1, 2019, with a list of companies from which they have liquidated investments or plan to do so.

More than 600 companies from around the country have expressed interest in taking part in wall construction, having responded to a solicitation from the federal government, according to multiple news reports.

Among them are KBR, U.S. Concrete, Fluor and Martin Marietta, all publicly traded. Roughly 20 interested firms are located in the San Diego area.

The Berkeley City Council last week voted to stop doing business with companies working on the wall, while reports indicate that officials in Oakland are considering a similar move.