California Armenia Trade Office Bill Passes State Assembly and Senate

— Bill Awaits Governor Schwarzenegger’s Signature

SACRAMENTO (ANCA-WR)–The International Trade and Investment Office: Yerevan bill (SB 897)–introduced by California State Senator Jack Scott (D-Pasadena) in February of this year–recently passed in both the California State Assembly and Senate. The bill passed the chambers of the legislature with overwhelming bi-partisan support–having gained a vote of 77-1 in the Assembly and 32-1 in the Senate. The bill was enrolled and sent to the desk of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on September 8th for his signature.

"Once again through the leadership of Senator Scott and his tireless staff–Californians and Armenia’s alike can move forward towards establishing closer business and trade relations with one another which will benefit both peoples equally," said Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR) chair Steve Dadaian. "We look forward to Governor Schwarzenegger’s approval of this commonsense measure aimed to allow the State of California to properly operate its trade office in Armenia."

For over five years–the ANCA-WR has worked to improve trade relations between California and Armenia. SB 897 aims to extend the sunset date for the creation and operation of the California International Trade and Investment Office in Yerevan–Armenia which was established by state statue in 2002. The current sunset date for the trade office is set for January 1–2006.

The bill–however–would extend this deadline to 2008. SB 897 was introduced by Senator Scott–with principal coauthors Senators Chuck Poochigian (R-Fresno) and Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo)–Assemblymembers Juan Arambula (D-Fresno) and Dario Frommer (D-Glendale)–as well as coauthors Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto)–and Assemblymembers Greg Aghazarian (R-Stockton) and Carol Liu (D-Pasadena). Last month–ANCA-WR Government Relations Director Armen Carapetian delivered testimony in the Capitol to secure passage of SB 897 in key committees and met with Assemblymembers and staff to galvanize support for the measure.

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