The Ohio House of Representatives today passed legislation that further expresses Ohio’s acknowledgement of Israel as a strong economic and diplomatic partner in the Middle East.

House Bill 476, sponsored by Rep. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton), bolsters the economic bonds between Ohio and Israel by prohibiting state agencies from entering into contracts with companies that are boycotting or disinvesting from Israel. Also known as anti-BDS (boycott, divestment and sanction), HB 476 requires companies to explicitly state in such contracts declaring that they are not boycotting or disinvesting from Israel, an agreement that lasts through the duration of the contract.

“Our state’s relationship with Israel generates more than $200 million of economic benefit for Ohio each year,” Schuring said. “This legislation provides more opportunities for Ohio to continue its strong alliance with Israel, as well as bolster our economy here at home.”

The legislation further defines that to boycott Israel is to refuse to engage in business or commercial activity with the Israeli government, a company operating in Israel or a company operating in territory controlled by Israel to protect the Israeli government.

House Bill 476 now awaits consideration in the Ohio Senate.

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