Proposed House Bill Would Prohibit Missouri Businesses From Boycotting Israel
Businesses that are contracted with the state of Missouri may soon be prohibited from boycotting Israel if a House bill, which was discussed on Tuesday, makes it to the Governor’s desk.
A similar bill was introduced last year under the Greitens administration and has been enacted into law in 24 other states, according to the bill’s sponsor. Under the bill, any business that is awarded a contract to work with the state would not be allowed to boycott Israel.
Rep. Holly Rehder says the bill will be effective in showing Missouri’s business partners in Israel that the state supports them and the United States’ allyship with Israel.
“It counters our economic policies and interests to give taxpayer-funded contracts to companies boycotting Israel,” said Rehder.
Rehder and supporters of the bill also argue that, because taxpayer dollars are being used to fund work with these businesses, their ideas should align with those of the state.
Opponents to the bill say it is a violation of a business’s first amendment rights.
In a statement, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri said the bill is unconstitutional for two reasons.
“It compels speech based around a political belief and it restricts association based on a viewpoint. It fails a clear constitutional test.”