Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) and Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) today announced the filing of HB 89 and SB 134 that boosts the state’s global economy by prohibiting the state from investing public funds in companies that boycott Israel.
“This bill sends a strong statement that Texas stands with its friends,” King said. “Boycotts of entities and individuals on the basis of national origin, particularly Israel, often amount to ethnic, religious, racial and/or nationality discrimination, which directly contradicts state public policy.”
Israel is Texas’ fourth leading trade partner with numerous joint projects in agricultural research and development, science and technology and industrial research. The Lone Star State exports $495 million of product to Israel and, in 2012, had $118 million in military contracts. Nearly 300 Texas companies do business with Israel. The state also has more than $50 million in high-rated State of Israel Bonds.
“Israel is an oasis of freedom in the Middle East and our nation’s most valuable ally in the region,” said Creighton. “Israel’s economic strength is reflective of essential values they share with Texas, so people of good conscience should be encouraging them, not stifling their success. It’s time for Texas to send a strong message of unity with Israel.”
Texas is just one of a growing number of states in the country to respond legislatively to the national origin discrimination. Prior to the pre-filing, Gov. Greg Abbott launched an anti-boycott, divestment, and sanction effort with governors throughout the country.
Twelve states have adopted similar legislation.