AUSTIN – Today HB 89 authored by Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) passed with unanimous support by the Texas House of Representatives. This legislation boosts the state’s global economy by prohibiting state pension funds from being invested in companies that boycott Israel. It also prohibits state and local governments from contracting with companies that boycott Israel.
“This bill sends a strong statement that Texas stands with its friends” King said. “We will not tolerate national-origin discrimination against Israel or use our taxpayer’s dollars to support those who wish to inflict economic harm against our fourth largest trading partner.”
This bill was joint authored by State Reps. Craig Goldman, Carol Alvarado, Sarah Davis and Byron Cook.
“I am proud to be a joint author on House Bill 89 which brought Republicans and Democrats together to stand in support of Israel,” said Rep. Sarah Davis (R-West University). “The bipartisan support indicates a major accomplishment for our constituencies across the state, including my own in House District 134.”
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 annually and, in 2012, had $118 million in military contracts alone. Nearly 300 Texas companies do business with Israel. The state also has more than $50 million in high-rated State of Israel Bonds.
Texas joins other states that have responded legislatively to this national origin discrimination. However, the legislation passed by Texas is by far the strongest in the nation.