The chairman of the investment committee of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) says investment officials are engaging management of two private prison companies, CoreCivic and The GEO Group, as well as defense contractor General Dynamics.

If CalPERS chooses not to divest from the two private prison companies, officials of the pension system would likely have to make their case in the state legislature at a public hearing, where Assemblyman Bonta’s bill to divest from CoreCivic and The GEO Group will begin to be considered by state lawmakers after the state legislature reconvenes on Jan. 7.

In the wake of CalSTRS, the California teachers’ pension fund, voting this fall to divest $12-million from private for-profit prisons, Assembly member Rob Bonta (D-Oakland)—the son of farm labor organizers who grew up in a trailer yards from Cesar Chavez’s home—has introduced AB 33 to bar the state’s largest retirement funds CalSTRS and CalPERS from investing in for-profit prisons.

While Bonta’s bill sits in the hopper, members of Educators for Migrant Justice, buoyed by their victory before the CalSTRS Board, will take their case to CalPERS, California’s public employee pension fund valued at $326-billion with an estimated $22 million invested in private for-profit prisons. On facebook, activists are inviting divestment supporters to join them Monday, December 17th, from 9am-3 pm, when they testify before the CalPERS board in Sacramento.

The Teachers’ Retirement Board of the $229.2 billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System is divesting from the two U.S. publicly-held companies in its portfolio that operate private prisons, CoreCivic and GEO Group. After an uproar over Trump administration policies that separated children from their families at the U.S. border, Chief Investment Officer Christopher Ailman started the process for divestment at the pension system’s Investment Committee’s July meeting, beginning a review of the companies in question to determine what risks they brought to the portfolio.