Texas Governor Greg Abbott called in his budget for the passing of laws cutting off businesses that adhere to Israel boycotts from Texas pension plans and for broadening laws banning state investments in Iran, JTA reported on Wednesday.
“While Texas pension plans have the goal of maximizing returns to protect the financial future of our state’s retirees, this mission should not come at the expense of our principles,” Abbott said in the proposed budget, which was sent Tuesday to the Texas Legislature.
“To that end, Texas pension funds should be prohibited from making investments that directly fund our nation’s enemies or those that would bolster companies with stated anti-Israel policies,” he said.
“No Texas tax dollars should prop up the terror-funding regime in Iran, so the state should expand current Iran divestiture laws. And no Texas tax dollars should support companies who boycott Israel, one of our nation’s greatest allies, in the name of political correctness or in pursuit of flawed political agendas,” added Abbott.
Texas currently bans state pension and retirement funds from investing in Iran. Abbott last year pledged to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that he would endeavor to extend the ban to all state agencies and local authorities, according to JTA.
Bills under consideration in both the Texas House and Senate would ban state pensions from dealing with companies complying with the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The language in the measures would include a ban on the pensions investing in companies complying with boycotts of goods manufactured in Judea and Samaria. It would also create blacklists of the companies that comply with BDS.
Over the past year or so, several states have approved laws targeting the BDS movement. The last state to do so was Michigan, where Governor Rick Snyder last month signed into law a bill that prohibits boycotts against individuals or a public entity of a foreign state.
While the Michigan law does not mention Israel specifically, pro-Israel groups lauded it as it deals yet another blow to BDS.
The law follows similar legislation against BDS that has passed in other states in recent months. New York, California, New Jersey, Arizona, Indiana, Florida, Tennessee, and Virginia are among the states that have approved similar laws.
In December, Nevada introduced a law against the anti-Israel movement, after Lieutenant Governor Mark Hutchinson and pro-Israel activists introduced Senate Bill 26, which is similar to the anti-BDS legislation passed in other states.
Also in December, the Ohio House of Representatives approved a bill targeting BDS.