AUSTIN – The Texas Senate today voted to pass House Bill 793. The bill excludes sole proprietors and smaller businesses from an anti-boycott law passed in 2017 that requires all businesses in Texas to certify that they will not boycott Israel in order to contract with state or local government agencies. In April 2019, a federal court found the 2017 law unconstitutional following the ACLU of Texas's challenge because it violates the First Amendment's protection against government intrusion into political speech and expression.
“Our state officials should know that an unconstitutional law cannot be salvaged merely by making it apply to fewer people,” said Andre Segura, legal director for the ACLU of Texas. “A federal judge has already ruled in favor of protecting Texans’ right to boycott as they choose, and this attempt to narrow the law's reach does not cure the fact that it still directly violates the First Amendment. We will continue to defend the constitutional rights of all, and urge those who believe they will be targeted by this new law to contact us.”