Christian Torres / AP

Three California state legislators have introduced a bill that would require state pension funds to divest from companies involved in building or maintaining President Trump's proposed southern border wall.

Why it matters: The nation's two largest public pension systems — The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and The California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) — are managing more than half a trillion dollars in combined assets. Not only does that make them major stock and bond market players, but they also have deep holdings in private equity funds that often own construction and building materials companies.

What the pensions are saying: Nothing publicly yet, but the top spokesman for CalPERS twice tweeted a Pensions & Investments editorial that savaged the proposal as "unacceptable interference in the fiduciary investment duties" of state pension funds.

Precedent: Some California pensions do have divestment policies, covering such things as tobacco companies, firearms companies and investments in countries like Sudan. Sometimes it's driven by legislators, sometimes by its own board. In general, the systems believe that if the divestment runs counter to fiduciary objectives, then there must be some other net positive for pensioners. For example, the CalPERS decision on tobacco was rooted in public health concerns. There also was a divestiture bill recently introduced related to companies helping to build the Dakota Access Pipeline, although it has not yet gotten a vote. CalPERS was a signatory to a letter asking participating banks to address or support the rerouting requests of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 30,199,007 — Total deaths: 946,490— Total recoveries: 20,544, 967Map
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 6,675,593 — Total deaths: 197,644 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 90,710,730Map
  3. Politics: Former Pence aide says she plans to vote for Joe Biden, accusing Trump of costing lives in his coronavirus response.
  4. Health: Pew: 49% of Americans wouldn't get COVID-19 vaccine if available today Pandemic may cause cancer uptick The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine — COVID-19 racial disparities extend to health coverage losses.
  5. Business: Retail sales return to pre-coronavirus trend.
Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Mike Bloomberg's anti-chaos theory

CNN's Anderson Cooper questions Joe Biden last night at a drive-in town hall in Moosic, Pa., outside Scranton. Photo: CNN

Mike Bloomberg's $100 million Florida blitz begins today and will continue "wall to wall" in all 10 TV markets through Election Day, advisers tell me.

Why it matters: Bloomberg thinks that Joe Biden putting away Florida is the most feasible way to head off the national chaos we could have if the outcome of Trump v. Biden remained uncertain long after Election Day.

Biden's hardline Russia reset

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Getty Images photos: Mark Reinstein

When he talks about Russia, Joe Biden has sounded like Ronald Reagan all summer, setting up a potential Day 1 confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin if Biden were to win.

Why it matters: Biden has promised a forceful response against Russia for both election interference and alleged bounty payments to target American troops in Afghanistan. But being tougher than President Trump could be the easy part. The risk is overdoing it and making diplomacy impossible.