FLORIDA GOVERNOR CRIST, FLORIDA LEGISLATORS TAKE NATIONAL LEAD ON IRAN, SUDAN DIVESTITURE
Governor Charlie Crist today announced his intent to encourage other United States governors to follow Florida's lead in Iran and Sudan divestiture. Governor Crist announced the effort in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
"Florida has taken this important step in support of Israel, and upon my return to Florida, I will sign Senate Bill 2142, the Protecting Florida's Investments Act, and begin encouraging other states to do the same," said Governor Crist. "I commend the Legislature for their leadership on this very important issue - especially Senators Ted Deutch and Nan Rich and Representatives Adam Hasner, Ari Porth and Elaine Schwartz."
Governor Crist announced that he will today send letters to the 49 other state governors asking them to join Florida in this effort and continue the discussion in July at the National Governors Association meeting in Traverse City, Michigan.
"I thank Governor Crist for his leadership by encouraging his fellow governors to join Florida," said Representative Hasner. "This action will have a significant impact on the funds that are currently propping up Iran's terrorist regime that seeks the destruction of Israel and the United States."
Governor Crist plans to sign the Protecting Florida's Investments Act in Representative Hasner's district, which represents Palm Beach and Broward counties.
The announcement came as part of a week-long trade mission to Israel led by Governor Crist that included a team of state and federal elected representatives and key business leaders. Governor Crist and the delegation met with Israeli government officials and business leaders including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Eli Yishai.
Letter from Governor Crist to Fellow Governors
May 31, 2007
Dear Fellow Governor:
It is an honor to write to you from Jerusalem where I am leading a delegation of Florida business leaders, state legislators and members of Congress, focusing on bilateral trade between Israel and the state of Florida. Additionally, it was a privilege to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu to express Florida's unwavering support of Israel and the Israeli people in their fight against terror.
Florida's support of Israel, however, is not only in words. During the recently concluded Florida legislative session, the Florida Senate and House of Representatives passed legislation to divest the Florida pension fund of financial sectors and businesses that deal with the governments of Iran and the Sudan. The legislation, unanimously passed in both chambers, is a statement to the Iranian and Sudanese governments that Florida will not idly stand by and allow businesses that operate in Iran and the Sudan to foster terror. I look forward to signing this legislation upon my return to Florida.
I respectfully encourage you to join me by introducing similar legislation to divest your state's financial resources of companies or sectors doing business with the governments of Iran and the Sudan. I look forward to discussing this matter with you during the National Governors Association summer meeting in Traverse City, Michigan.
As demonstrated by the end of apartheid in South Africa, when a light shines to expose oppression and extremism, the days of injustice are numbered. May we each gather the courage to defend freedom around the globe and make it a reality for future generations.