FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lawmakers announce bills banning energy-related business dealings with Iran
HARRISBURG, June 5 — State Sen. Mike Stack and Rep. Dan Frankel today introduced legislation that would prohibit companies with direct investments in Iran’s energy sector from bidding for state contracts.
Senate Bill 1543 and House Bill 2427 would prohibit an individual, financial institution, or company that provides goods and services or a line of credit worth at least $20 million to the energy sector of Iran from entering into a contract of $1 million or more with the Pennsylvania Department of General Services.
The department would be required to develop a list of people, organizations and companies that are engaged in investment activities with Iran and update the list every 180 days.
If individuals, organizations or companies want to enter into a contract with Pennsylvania, they would be required to file a certification with the Department of General Services that they are eligible to enter into the contract.
The lawmakers’ bills are based on similar measures passed in California, Indiana, Maryland, and Florida.
"Companies that choose to conduct business with nations like Iran should not be supported by Pennsylvania tax dollars," said Stack, D-Phila. "Our nation must be strong and stand up against those who promote terror and injustice in the world. This legislation will ensure that the commonwealth does not conduct business with terror-supporting nations like Iran."
"The Department of General Services is the largest provider of procurements in Pennsylvania," said Frankel, D-Allegheny. "We’re giving companies a clear choice – either you can do business with a state sponsor of terror in Iran, or you can do business with the commonwealth of Pennsylvania but you cannot have it both ways."
To date, 16 companies have divested from investments in Iran and Sudan as a result of Stack’s legislation (Act 44 of 2010) requiring Pennsylvania’s two largest pension funds and the Pennsylvania Treasury Department to divest from investments in the two rogue nations.
"This bill is the next phase in our plan to stop the flow of money from Pennsylvania to countries that are state sponsors of terrorism," Frankel said. "We’ve already successfully limited our public pension funds from investing in companies that have ties to Iran. Now it’s time to take the next step."
"Terror free procurement assures that taxpayer money supports only those companies that support US and our allies," said Matt Handel, chairman of the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition. "This legislation makes a strong statement that Pennsylvania cares about what it does locally and its impact nationally and globally."
Rabbi Mark Robbins, the director of the American Jewish Committee of Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, said the AJC has raised deep concerns over the threat Iran imposes on global peace and security.
"There are clear signs that economic sanctions imposed locally and internationally are hurting Iran," Robbins said. "We urge other states to introduce similar legislation to strengthen the economic message that these sanctions send to the Iranian regime."