Capitol Update: A Lasting Friendship

May 2, 2017

Dear Friends,

This morning, Governor Abbott signed into law one of the first bills to reach his desk, House Bill 89.

HB 89 is a pro-Israel bill that came through the Senate Business & Commerce Committee, which I’m honored to chair this session.

At the end of 2016, Robin and I had the life-changing privilege of visiting Israel. We stood on land of deep historic and Biblical significance and also had the opportunity to meet with members of the Israeli legislature, the Knesset, who explained the effects of concerning BDS practices.

BDS stands for boycotting, divestment, and sanctions. It’s a discriminatory trade practice that a number of companies employ against businesses based in Israel. The goal of the BDS movement is to disrupt and isolate the Israeli economy. Texas and Israel are not only friends, we’re trade partners. We can’t sit by and watch that happen.

In response, HB 89 prohibits state agencies from contracting with any business that’s guilty of BDS trade practices targeted at Israel. HB 89 also prohibits investing state dollars with these BDS-practicing companies through state employee retirement plans.

No Texas taxpayer dollars should go to companies that are actively targeting the economy of one of our closest allies.

While a great deal of work remains to be done in the final weeks of the 85th Legislative Session, we’re glad to report that this important bill is now the law of the land.


Kelly Hancock
State Senator, District 9

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