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Fla. Senate votes to divest from Sudan, Iran

Florida’s Senate voted to divest pension funds from Sudan and Iran. The legislation, which passed Friday with bipartisan backing, goes to the lower house next week. Backers say it’s likely to pass and be signed into law by Gov. Charlie Crist. That would make Florida the first state to divest its pension funds from Iran; similar bills are under consideration in about a dozen other states. Sudan was targeted because of the genocide of civilians being carried out by government-allied militias in Darfur, while Iran was targeted for its failure to suspend uranium enrichment – a key step toward manufacturing nuclear weapons – and its support for terrorism. Divesting funds from companies that deal with both countries proved popular, said state Sen. Ted Deutch (D- Boca Raton), the bill’s sponsor. “People around Florida began to learn that close to $1 million was being used to help the world’s leading sponsor of terror acquire nuclear weapons,” he said.