Applauding Florida’s Passage of Legislation Enhancing & Strengthening FL anti-BDS Legislation


March 1, 2018 - New legislation marks the first instance an existing state anti-BDS statute has been enhanced - 

StandWithUs, The Israel Project and the Israel Allies Foundation we applaud the passage of Florida House Bill 545/Senate Bill 780 - Legislation to Defend Florida’s Economy and End Taxpayer Funded Discrimination. This important legislation reinforces Florida’s long-standing alliance and deep economic ties with the State of Israel. It has passed both the State House of Representatives and State Senate with overwhelming, almost unanimous, support. This bill is now on to Governor Scott’s desk for signing.

Collectively, our organizations represent a broad spectrum of the pro-Israel community – Jews, Christians, and people of other faiths; Democrats and Republicans alike – who stand ready to support and applaud this legislative effort. 
 
In 2016, Florida passed comprehensive anti-BDS legislation focusing on both state contracting and state investments. The passage of HB 545/ SB 780 legislation marks the first instance an existing state anti-BDS statute has been enhanced. It is an important step in the continuing fight against commercial discrimination promoted by the anti-Semitic BDS campaign.  
 
Florida’s rich history, coupled with a diverse population, innovative spirit, strong economy, and support for democratic values have made Florida a leader among America’s fifty great states. Florida and Israel, in particular, have a long history of social, political, and economic partnerships. The passage of this bill represents Florida’s commitment to standing shoulder to shoulder with Israel.

We want to sincerely thank Sen. Jeff Brandes, Rep. Randy Fine, and Rep. Jared Moskowitz for their hard work and leadership in seeing this bill through the entire legislative process. The anti-Semitic vitriol directed at them throughout the legislative process serves to further highlight the hateful and bigoted nature of BDS proponents.

We also wish to highlight the ongoing importance of Sen. Joe Negron, whose 2016 bill made Florida the first state in the nation to pass an anti-BDS bill that dealt with both state contracting and pensions. In seeking to remain on the cutting edge, Florida House Bill 545/Senate Bill 780 enhances and maintains Florida as a national leader.

We also thank Gov. Rick Scott for his steadfast support of Israel. Gov. Scott has demonstrated his commitment and unwavering support of the Florida-Israel relationship throughout his tenure. By signing the anti-BDS bill in 2016, and traveling to Israel last December Gov. Scott has shown his exemplary commitment to enhancing ties with Israel and the local Jewish community.

Special thanks are due to Scott Ross and Capital City Consulting. Mr. Ross has proven to be a stalwart advocate for Florida-Israel relationship. Without his dedication and effort, Florida’s anti-BDS efforts would not have been possible.

We are also grateful to the many Jewish Federations and Jewish Community Relations Councils throughout Florida that advocated for this bill, as well as Bernie Friedman at Becker Poliakoff. We also note the importance of the many student activists throughout the state, as well as the support given by Chabad of Tallahassee.
 

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