Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a bill on Tuesday that prohibits state and local governments from contracting with companies that have business ties to Cuba and Syria.
The piece of legislation, sponsored by Republic Senator Rene Garcia of Hialeah and Representative Michael Bileca of Miami, is seen as a “gesture” towards the coveted Cuban-American right-wing voters in Florida.
“The governments of Cuba and Syria are two of the only four countries that the United States designates as state sponsors of terrorism and the money of Florida taxpayers should not in any way contribute to support them,” Scott said upon signing the bill.
The controversial law has received strong criticism from the Florida Chamber of Commerce and from Florida’s top two trading partners, Brazil and Canada, who have warned the measure could discourage investment from foreign firms.
The piece of legislation goes into effect on July 1 and it affects future state and local government contracts worth at least $1 million.