Page Last Updated

Overview

Arkansas has anti-boycott laws in effect prohibiting eight of its public retirement systems and relief funds from taking into account whether a fund, company, or other investment vehicle is in Israel when making investment decisions. In 2018, The Arkansas Times sued to challenge a different Arkansas law that prohibited state contracts with and state investment in entities that boycott Israel or territories controlled by Israel. Under that law the state maintained a blacklist of companies that are not eligible for state investment and required contractors to submit written certifications that they do not and will not boycott Israel. In 2021, an appeals court ruled the law unconstitutional.

State Legislation

Legislation
HB 1277
Status
In Effect
In Effect Since
August 2017
Type(s)
Anti-boycott, State Investments
Full Text
Read HB 1277 

This anti-boycott law prohibits the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System from taking into account whether a fund, company, or other investment vehicle is in Israel when making investment decisions.

Legislation
HB 1341
Status
In Effect
In Effect Since
August 2017
Type(s)
State Investments
Full Text
Read HB 1341 

This anti-boycott law prohibits the State Police Retirement Fund from taking into account whether a fund, company, or other investment vehicle is in Israel when making investment decisions.

Legislation
HB 1275
Status
In Effect
In Effect Since
August 2017
Type(s)
State Investments
Full Text
Read HB 1275 

This anti-boycott law prohibits the local policemen’s and firemen’s pension and relief fund from taking into account whether a fund, company, or other investment vehicle is in Israel when making investment decisions.

Legislation
HB 1324
Status
In Effect
In Effect Since
August 2017
Type(s)
Anti-boycott, State Investments
Full Text
Read HB 1324 

This anti-boycott law prohibits the Arkansas State Highway Employees’ Retirement System Fund from taking into account whether a fund, company, or other investment vehicle is in Israel when making investment decisions.

Legislation
HB 1344
Status
In Effect
In Effect Since
August 2017
Type(s)
Anti-boycott, State Investments
Full Text
Read HB 1344 

This anti-boycott law prohibits the Arkansas Public Employees’ Retirement System from taking into account whether a fund, company, or other investment vehicle is in Israel when making investment decisions.

Defeated Legislation

Legislation
SB 11
Status
Defeated
Defeated On
May 2017
Type(s)
State Investments
Full Text
Read SB 11 

This anti-boycott bill prohibits state investments in entities that boycott Israel or companies based in Israel or territories controlled by Israel. The bill calls for the creation of a blacklist of companies that boycott Israel and requires public retirement systems to divest from these companies. The bill does not require divestment if investments in companies on the blacklist are less than 0.5% of the value of a retirement system’s holdings.

Legislation
SB 513
Status
Struck Down by Court
Struck Down On
February 2021
Type(s)
State Contracts, State Investments
Full Text
Read SB 513 

This anti-boycott law prohibits state contracts with and state investments in entities, including individuals, that boycott Israel or territories controlled by Israel. For state contracts, the law requires written certification that entities do not and will not boycott Israel. The law excludes contracts under $1,000 and contractors who bid 20% less than other bidders. The law also calls for the creation of a blacklist of companies that boycott Israel and requires public retirement systems to divest from these companies. Companies can remove themselves from the blacklist by submitting a written certification that they will not boycott Israel for the duration of any investment by the public entity.

In December 2018, The Arkansas Times sued to challenge the law arguing that it should not be compelled to speak against boycotts for Palestinian rights. In January 2019 the district court dismissed the case. In February 2021, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law as unconstitutional.

Submit Updates

Know of legislation not reflected on this page? Click here to contact us and let us know what’s missing.