By Associated Press - Thursday, April 11, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida House has passed legislation that would specifically prohibit anti-Semitism in the state’s public schools and universities.

The bill by Republican Rep. Randy Fine of Palm Bay was approved Thursday on a 114-0 vote. It would mandate that discrimination against Jewish people be treated the same as acts of racial discrimination in public schools.

Fine says the measure is necessary because discriminatory behavior against Jews is rising across the U.S.

A similar measure is moving in the Senate. That bill recently stirred controversy when the chamber’s Democratic leader, Sen. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville, voted against it. Gibson said then the bill was divisive because it didn’t include other religions, but after criticism said she would support it going forward.

Fine says the bill is not about supporting Israel.

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