New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order to state entities telling them to divest all public funds from companies and organizations supporting the boycotts, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel, also known as the BDS movement.
The executive order covers all agencies and departments over which the governor has executive authority, said the governor's news release issued Sunday. It also affects “all public benefit corporations, public authorities, boards and commissions” for which the governor appoints a chairman, CEO or majority of board members except the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the news release said.
The executive order doesn't apply to the $178.3 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, confirmed spokesmen for the Mr. Cuomo and state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, the sole trustee of the pension fund. “The comptroller is supportive of the move,” Matthew Sweeney, a spokesman for Mr. DiNapoli, wrote in an e-mail.
“This state will not stand for the politics of discrimination in any form, and we will continue to demonstrate our unwavering support for the people of Israel in the fight for freedom, liberty and democracy,” Mr. Cuomo said in his news release. “This order sends the message that this state will do everything in its power to end this hateful, intolerant campaign.”
Colorado, Indiana and Illinois have enacted laws requiring public pension funds to divest from companies that boycott or place economic sanctions on Israel.
Mr. Cuomo's executive order requires the commissioner of the state Office of General Services to prepare a list within 180 days of companies and institutions “that the commissioner determines, using credible information available to the public, participate in boycott, divestment or sanctions activity targeting Israel, either directly or through a parent or subsidiary.”
The list will be posted on the website of the Office of General Services. Companies or institutions cited by the commissioner will have “at least 90 days” before the website posting to provide evidence that they aren't involved in the BDS activities “or (in) sanctions activity targeting Israel, either directly or through a parent or subsidiary,” the executive order said.