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For Immediate Release:
March 13, 2012
Media Contact:
Gigi Bolt

305-375-4831

Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Jr. Asks Colleagues to Support Pending State Law that Prohibits Public Contracts with Foreign Companies that Conduct Business with Cuba or Syria


Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Jr. lauded the Florida Legislature’s passage of companion bills HB 959 and SB 1144, which prohibit the state and its counties and cities from contracting with any foreign companies that conduct businesses with Cuba or Syria.  Commissioner Bovo is urging his fellow County Commissioners to support the recently passed law and join him in urging Governor Rick Scott to sign the item into law.

While American companies are federally prohibited from doing business with Cuba, this new law would effectively close a loophole used by foreign companies that contract business from Cuba and Florida through different subsidiaries. Commissioner Bovo is now working with the Miami-Dade County Attorney’s Office to develop a policy that would allow the County to fully comply with state law.

Stated Commissioner Bovo, “With this new law, Florida sends a clear message to the world that we stand on conscious and moral principle and will not tolerate taxpayer dollars to reward companies that do business with state sponsors of terrorism.”

From 2007 to the present, the Legislature has directed the SBA to divest funds from companies that are actively seeking and providing certain business opportunities with Iran and Sudan. The law passed last week also prohibits the State Board of Administration from being a fiduciary with respect to voting on any proxy resolution advocating expanded U.S. trade with Cuba or Syria. State and local government agencies will not be able to contract for goods and services in excess of one million dollars with a company that has business operations with Cuba, Syria, Iran or Sudan. Additionally, the law requires certification upon submission of a bid or proposal with a Florida agency or governmental entity for a contract, or before a company enters into or renews a contract, that the company is not engaged in business operations in Cuba or Syria.

“We cannot continue the hypocrisy of supporting companies in Miami-Dade County that do business with the Castro and Assad regimes, which oppress their own people. We owe a debt of gratitude to our Miami-Dade Legislative Delegation for the passage of this law,” said Commissioner Bovo.

For more information, please contact Commissioner Bovo’s office at 305-820-8444.