DeSantis Signs Bills to Protect Jews, Restrict Iran

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis | Image by Aaron of L.A. Photography

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Monday that he signed multiple bills into law, including legislation related to the protection of Jewish people in the United States and the expansion of sanctions against Iran.

HB 7C will provide taxpayer funding for additional security at Jewish day schools. It will allocate a nonrecurring allotment of $45 million to Jewish day schools in the state, broken up into three parts.

The bill sets aside $10 million in grants that will be used to provide “nonhardening security measures,” such as training for staff on threat awareness, emergency procedures, and first aid, as well as “hardening” measures to the tune of $15 million.

Hardening measures include the “purchase and installation of security infrastructure, perimeter lighting, materials for door hardening, security camera systems, perimeter fencing, barriers and bollards, and blast-resistant film and shatter-resistant glass for windows.”

The remaining $20 million will be allotted to the Florida Division of Emergency Management and used to support the state’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which was developed during its most recent legislative session.

HB 5C was also signed into law by DeSantis. It expands the Protecting Florida’s Investments Act, which requires the Florida State Board of Administration to release a list of “scrutinized companies” that could be linked to Iran’s petroleum industry.

The act previously focused exclusively on Iran’s petroleum industry, but HB 5C expands the number of industries under its purview.

Moving forward, companies involved in construction, manufacturing, and metals, among others, are restricted from investing with the country.

DeSantis signed two other bills, including HB 1C, to spend millions in taxpayer money on disaster relief for areas hit by Hurricane Idalia.

The fourth bill signed by DeSantis was HB 3C, which increases the number of students with disabilities who are eligible to participate in the state’s Family Empowerment Scholarship Program. The program helps provide personal education savings accounts to families with children with disabilities.

DeSantis has been running behind former President Donald Trump in Republican primary polls for the party’s presidential candidacy. As of Tuesday, Trump was polling at 58.6%. DeSantis was at just 14.1%, per FiveThirtyEight. Nikki Haley came in third at 9%, and Vivek Ramaswamy came in at 5%.

DeSantis, Haley, and Ramaswamy have each participated in the three Republican debates that have occurred to this point, but the former president has yet to participate.

The next Republican debate is currently scheduled to take place on December 6 in Alabama at 7 p.m. However, it is still unclear which candidates will be taking the stage, according to a press release from the Republican National Committee.

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