Office of the Governor - Greg Abbott

Governor Abbott Meets With Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

Monday, January 18, 2016  •  Austin, Texas  •  Press Release

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Governor Greg Abbott today met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss Texas and Israel's historic bond and how he can further solidify their relationship. During the meeting, Governor Abbott informed Prime Minister Netanyahu that Texas will maintain its Iran divestiture policy. Further, the Governor announced that he would seek new laws to strengthen Texas' prohibitions on the investment of public funds in Iran.

"As Governor, I am a steadfast supporter and friend to the State of Israel- and the State of Texas' policies will reflect that," said Governor Abbott. "That is why today I am announcing action to ensure Texas maintains its Iran divestiture policy despite the federal government's deal. Further, I am calling for new legislation that will strengthen Texas existing divestiture laws and ensure Texas taxpayer funds do not enrich Iran.”

During the next legislative session, Governor Abbott will seek legislation to achieve the following:

  • Require local governmental entities to divest investments in Iran. Although federal law allows for locals to impose such sanctions, current Texas law does not require local governments to divest investments in Iran. Texas will update its laws to align local governments with the state's strong interest in crippling Iran.
  • Require all Texas state entities that invest money to divest Iran investments- not just Texas' various retirement funds. Texas law requires only certain retirement/benefit funds to divest investments in Iran. All state and local governmental entities should be subject to the prohibition against contracting with or investing in Iran or companies that conduct business with Iran.
  • Close loopholes in Texas' Iran divestment law. Texas law contains multiple loopholes in its divestiture statute. Texas will examine these loopholes to determine where and how these exceptions can be minimized or eliminated altogether.

In September, Governor Abbott sent a letter to the Texas Congressional Delegation opposing the Iran nuclear deal.