WASHINGTON (JTA ) — The Massachusetts state Legislature adopted a measure requiring the state’s pension fund to divest from foreign oil and gas companies that do more than $20 million in business with Iran.
The legislation, which passed by a wide margin July 29, is similar to bills adopted in Florida and Ohio.
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said the new federal sanctions against Iran encourage the states to pass such bills. Frank, a strong supporter of the bill, wrote letters to the state speaker of the house and Senate president urging them to vote for it.
In a statement, Frank praised the members of the state’s House and Senate, saying their efforts are a key element in a coordinated strategy taking place on the federal and state levels.
"We will continue to do everything we can to deter Iran from getting nuclear weapons," the statement said.