WHEREAS, the primary mission of the Israeli Consulate General and its staff is to promote mutually beneficial cooperation between the State of Israel and the State of Florida; and
WHEREAS, during the tenure of Mr. Shacham and his capable staff, the Consulate of Israel has cultivated close working relationship with all members of this Cabinet, with the Leadership and Membership of both Florida Legislative chambers, and with the Directorship of relevant agencies of the State; and
WHEREAS, as a result of these relationships, the State of Florida and the State of Israel have been able to achieve many significant milestones of Israel-Florida cooperation; and
WHEREAS, Governor Scott’s Business Development Mission to Israel in December 2011, accompanied by Mr. Shacham, and received by Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, set into motion a series of new partnerships and collaborations between the two States; and
WHEREAS, the Consul General has coordinated appearances of Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, CFO Jeff Atwater and Commissioner Adam Putnam before senior government officials, business leaders, student groups and community organizations to help promote and expand Florida-Israel cooperation by having Cabinet members deliver keynote addresses and presentations as well as attending meetings and forums; and
WHEREAS, by strengthening and expanding Florida’s investments in Israel’s “miracle” economy, the public funds of Florida’s citizens are better protected and are growing because of Israel’s upgraded credit rating in 2012; and
WHEREAS, as of this year, the State of Florida is investing approximately $250 million in Israeli Government Bonds and private equities making Florida one of the biggest investors in Israel among the States; and
WHEREAS, Enterprise Florida has opened an office in Tel Aviv, facilitating economic and business cooperation between the two States, making Florida one of the few States with such an office in Israel; and
WHEREAS, several Israeli companies have recently expanded and relocated to Florida; and
WHEREAS, in 2013, the State of Florida and the Government of the State of Israel signed an MOU partnering Space Florida with the Israeli Office of the Chief Scientist to promote joint R&D in key Space-related commercial areas, thus strengthening the vital Space sector in both States; and
WHEREAS, the State of Florida is continuing to diligently implement the Protecting Florida's Investments Act of 2007, requiring the State Board of Administration (SBA) to identify, scrutinize and divest from all companies that are doing business with Iran in which public moneys are invested; and
WHEREAS, the passage of several additional Legislative and Cabinet Acts and Resolutions - such as the Scrutinized Companies Act (SB444/2011), the Financial Institutions Act (SB792/2012), the “Iran-Free Bonds” SBA Policy Change (approved by the Governor and Cabinet in 2013) and the Foreign Investment Act (SB948/2014) - have been and remain crucial to the protection of Florida investments and security as well as Israel’s national interests; and
WHEREAS, notably, Florida’s aforementioned groundbreaking Iran divestment enforcement laws have become the basis of subsequent legislation passed by approximately three dozen other States throughout the Union.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Governor and Cabinet of the State of Florida do hereby recognize and extend their appreciation to Consul General Chaim Shacham and the
Staff of the Israeli Consulate to Florida and commend their achievements in the promotion of mutually beneficial cooperation between the State of Florida and the State of Israel.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we also recognize that Israel recently celebrated their 66th Independence Day.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF the Governor and Cabinet of the State of Florida have hereunto subscribed their names and have caused the Official Seal of the State of Florida to be hereunto affixed in the City of Tallahassee on this 13th day of May, 2014.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
ADAM H. PUTNAM