Updated June 13, 2019
HB 793 (An act relating to certain government contracts with companies that boycott Israel)
What it does:
Texas lawmakers passed a bill in May 2019 to amend the state’s existing anti-boycott law to exclude sole proprietors, companies with less than 10 employees, and contracts less than $100,000. The bill continues to require companies to certify that they will not engage in a boycott of Israel.
The amendments, which are designed to remove the plaintiffs who are challenging the existing law from its reach, may reduce the number of individuals affected by the law, but will not resolve the law’s underlying constitutional issues.
In April 2019, a federal district court issued a preliminary injunction against the state’s 2017 anti-boycott law, finding the law suppressed constitutionally-protected speech. In May, an appellate court stayed the injunction pending appeal.
The governor signed HB 793 into law, and the changes became effective immediately.
Texas lawmaker plans to tweak anti-boycott of Israel law that has drawn ACLU lawsuits, Dec. 20, 2018, USA Today
Texas narrows law barring contractors from boycotting Israel, May 9, 2019, Texas Tribune
Top 10 Quotes from Texas Court Decision Blocking Anti-BDS Law, April 26, 2019, Palestine Legal
Read the bill: HB 793
On Tuesday, May 2, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed H.B.89/S.B. 29 into law. This law prohibits the state from contracting with companies (including sole proprietorships) unless they certify that they will not engage in a boycott of Israel. It also requires Texas to develop a blacklist of for-profit entities that boycott Israel and divest its pension funds from those companies. More information below.
Legal memo opposing H.B. 89 and S.B. 134 (also applies to S.B. 29), by Palestine Legal, Center for Constitutional Rights, CAIR-TX, National Lawyers Guild Palestine Subcommittee, and Bill of Rights Defense Committee/Defending Dissent Foundation.
Take action: Tell TX - Don't crush our free speech rights (via U.S. Campaign)
H.B. 89, S.B. 134, and S.B. 29 are unconstitutional. Political boycotts - including boycotts for Palestinian rights - are protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The state may not condition the receipt of benefits on the requirement that you forgo a constitutional right.