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3 States Have Laws Requiring Disclosure of Foreign Donors

Three states now have adopted laws requiring public universities and colleges to report restrictions or conditions accompanying donations from foreign countries and individuals in excess of $100,000.

The states are Illinois, Florida and New York, according to the American Jewish Congress. Illinois was the first state to pass such a law. On June 6, Gov. Bob Graham signed into law a similar measure for Florida.

Lawrence Shentz, president of the AJCongress southeast region, said the Florida measure is aimed principally at thwarting attempts by Arab countries to unduly influence teaching and research or exclude Jewish faculty members from the grants.

Gov. Mario Cuomo signed a disclosure law on June 15 which was drafted by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.

Phil Baum, associate executive director of the AJCongress, said the Florida law, which he said the AJCongress helped to draft, is part of a nation-wide effort to blunt bids by Arab governments who, he said, have initiated a major anti-Israel propaganda effort on American campuses. He said large gifts by pro-Arab interests endanger academic freedom and distort the educational process.

He said other states considering such legislation include California, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

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