The Florida Senate has unanimously passed an anti-anti-Semitism bill that was also previously passed unanimously by the Florida House.
Passed by a vote of 26-0, the bill now moves to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for his signature.
The new bill defines anti-Semitism and mandates that discrimination against Jewish people be treated the same as acts of racial discrimination in Florida’s K-20 public education institutions.
SB1272 was filed by State Senator Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota). A similar bill HR 741, sponsored by State Rep. Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay), was approved last week by the Florida House in a vote of 114-0.
The state is expected to adopt the State Department Definition of anti-Semitism and in so doing will not depend on arbitrary definitions imposed by various administrations. All public education institutions will be required to treat anti-Semitism the same way they treat all racial discrimination.
The definition of anti-Semitism has also been adopted by the 31 member states of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), of which the United States is a member.
This definition is consistent with and builds upon the information contained in the 2010 State Department definition. As a member of IHRA, the United States now uses this working definition and has encouraged other governments and international organizations to use it as well.
“We thank the lawmakers for holding a moment of silence for the victims of the Poway shooting and recognizing Lori Gilbert-Kaye’s brave actions,” said StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein.
“We praise them for recognizing the need to pass strong legislation defining anti-Semitism, thus making it easier for law enforcement to investigate unprotected conduct such as harassment and vandalism as hate crimes.
“Florida is acting as a role model during these challenging times. We encourage every state to follow Florida’s lead and protect all of its citizens, especially its students, from discrimination based on race, religion or ethnic origin.”