Assemblywoman Jacobs Co-Sponsors and Helps Pass Sweeping Iran Divestment Legislation

January 10, 2012
Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs (D-Flatbush) joined Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and her colleagues today in passing legislation (A.8668) that would bar companies that invest in Iran's energy sector from doing business with New York State or local governments.

"We are helping to make the world a safer place by ensuring that New York State does not do business with a country that pursues nuclear weapons and who poses a danger to the peace and stability of the international community," said Jacobs.

The Iran Divestment Act of 2012 - modeled after similar legislation in California and conceived with help from the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York - would prohibit companies that provide goods, services or credit worth $20 million or more to Iran's energy industry from entering into or renewing state and local government contracts.

A federal law passed last year authorized state and local governments to divest from companies whose interests in Iran's energy sector directly or indirectly support its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The divestment would apply to companies engaged in oil or natural gas development in Iran, as well any company found to be directly involved in nuclear power.

The legislation directs the Office of General Services to create a list of people, corporations and other organizations with investments of more than $20 million in the Iranian energy sector. Those on the list would be excluded from bidding on government contracts.

The bill also requires individuals or entities to certify they are not on the list when they submit bids to state and local agencies. Individuals or companies on the list that are the sole source of certain commodities or services can renew or enter into contracts on a case-by-case basis.

"I urge my colleagues in the State Senate to immediately join us in passing this legislation so that it can become law. We are once again taking the lead, showing the rest of the country that New York State is not doing business with a repressive nation and nor should they," said Assistant
Speaker Jacobs.