This morning, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law H.B. 959, a bill that prohibits taxpayer money from going to companies that partner with the brutal Castro and Assad regimes.
During the signing, he was surrounded by former Cuban political prisoners, as well as Cuban-American political, business and community leaders.
The Governor spoke about the abuses of the Cuban and Syrian regimes and how it's important to pressure them through this law.
Yet, he clearly didn't mean a word of what he was saying.
Just an hour later, after mocking the community, the Governor released a signing letter trying to place a caveat on the enforcement of H.B. 959 stating that "it will not go into effect" until the U.S. Congress passes a specific law authorizing it.
The fact remains that the U.S. Congress has already passed comprehensive sanctions toward Cuba and Syria. Thus, H.B. 959 is consistent with federal law.
Moreover, Cuba and Syria belong to the closed-class of "state-sponsors of terrorism" and thus, consistent with recent case law in the 11th Circuit (Faculty Senate of Fla. Int'l Univ. v. Winn, 616 F.3d 1206), Florida can place restrictions on the use of public funds geared towards those regimes.
So whether Governor Scott likes it or not -- the statute trumps his signing letter.
Therefore, H.B. 959 officially goes into effect on July 1st, 2012.
That's the law, period.
And that's just two and half years before his term ends -- on January 6th, 2015.
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