Is the New York State anti-boycott bill dead?

We’ve reported that the New York State Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill that essentially would cut funds to institutes of higher learning that fund groups that boycott Israeli universities.

The bill was under consideration in the State Assembly and seemed assured passage, given that it had the backing of the speaker, Sheldon Silver. Its sponsors in both chambers said it was occasioned by the boycott adopted in December by the American Studies Association.

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The Albany Times Union now reports — in a parenthetical update to an early blogpost — that an Assembly committee pulled it from consideration.

Ryan Karben, a former Assemblyman, says that this is rare for any bill backed by the speaker, and that its shelving by the committee means that the bill is “disappeared.”

The bill had influential opponents, according to the Times Union, including the New York State United Teachers union, which sees the bill as an affront to free speech.

For the same reason, the New York Times also is opposed to the bill.

Ron Kampeas is JTA’s Washington bureau chief, responsible for coordinating coverage in the U.S. capital and analyzing political developments that affect the Jewish world. He comes to JTA from The Associated Press, where he worked for more than a decade in its bureaus in Jerusalem, New York, London and, most recently, Washington. He has reported from Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Bosnia and West Africa. While living in Israel, he also worked for the Jerusalem Post and several Jewish organizations.