The readers’ forum

Defend law banning business with terrorist states


During the 2012 legislative session, the Florida Legislature passed House Bill 959 almost unanimously. Gov. Scott signed the bill into law.

It reflected the state of Florida’s will to not do business with companies that are engaged in business operations and foster economic activities with state sponsors of terrorism such as Cuba and Syria.

Several other states have successfully enacted similar legislation that has withstood federal court scrutiny.

However, on Sept. 4, I was surprised and disappointed to learn that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), which was a party in defense of a lawsuit challenging the law, decided not to appeal a federal court decision to uphold a lower court’s preliminary injunction against the law.

This decision is disgraceful.

FDOT was responsible for defending this law. With the current debate over Syria and the recent discovery of Cuba’s illegal military coordination with North Korea, our state should have conducted a spirited defense of the law all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Florida residents and their elected officials should have the right to prohibit taxpayer dollars from going to companies that do business with the tyrannical regime in Cuba.

With the passage of a nonbinding county referendum by a supermajority of the commission, Miami-Dade County voters affirmed the intent and spirit of the law in November.

I urge the Miami-Dade County mayor, commissioners, and all government entities in Florida to stand together and refuse to award public dollars to companies that do business with nations on the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list.

Gov. Scott and state Attorney General Pam Bondi should conduct a thorough investigation into FDOT’s decision and exhaust all options to defend and implement the law’s intent.

Anything less is an inexcusable failure to stand against tyranny and protect Florida taxpayers’ rights.

Erik Fresen, state representative, District 114, Miami

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • The readers’ forum

    Don’t create nightmare traffic a road to nowhere

    Re the Sept. 6 article, Dolphin Expressway extension gets mixed reaction: In 2004 when the Miami-Dade Commission had an agenda filled with proposed developments to extend the Urban Development Boundary, a group called Hold the Line was organized and stopped the commission. I am proud to have been a leader as president of the Urban Environment League along with the Tropical Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, and hundreds of residents from the many communities that comprise Miami-Dade County. The Commission wisely stopped this attack on the natural environment of the western limits of the county.

  • Support PAMM

    Re the Sept. 12 Other Views column, PAMM shouldn’t get public funding: How could any piece be so far off base?

  • Hobby Lobby whim

    Re the Miami Herald’s Sept. 7 Other Views column, Hobby Lobby decision a blow to practice of medicine: I take exception to the characterization by Drs. John Jennings and Britani Kessler of the deeply held convictions of some employers as “whims” to be cavalierly brushed aside.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category