TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Governor Ron DeSantis formed an alliance with 18 other states to push back against President Biden’s environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) agenda that is destabilizing the American economy and the global financial system.
“At my direction, Florida has led the way in combating the pernicious effects of the ESG regime by directing our state pension fund managers to reject ESG and instead focus on obtaining the highest return on investment for Florida’s taxpayers and retirees,” the governor said.
DeSantis is now spearheading an initiative with other like-minded states “to send an even louder message to the financial industry that the American people have rejected ESG at the ballot box.”
“Ideologues cannot and should not circumnavigate the will of the people. Today, we have delivered on that promise,” DeSantis added.
STANDING AGAINST BIDEN’S RADICAL AGENDA
“Florida is tearing the temple of ESG down brick-by-brick. This nonsense may not have started in Florida, but thanks to Governor Ron DeSantis organizing this coalition, we’ll have an army to put a stop to it. Strength in numbers, returns first. Go woke, go broke,” Florida’s CFO Jimmy Patronis told The Florida Standard.
Earlier this month, Congress took action to pass legislation which would keep politics out of Americans’ retirement funds, but President Biden has promised to veto the measure to further his radical agenda.
In a joint statement proposed by Florida, the following states committed to lead state-level efforts to protect individuals from the ESG movement that threatens the vitality of the American economy and Americans’ economic freedom:
Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming
“Florida has emerged as America’s economic engine, with an unemployment rate consistently lower than the nation’s and the highest rate of business formations of any other state,” said Governor DeSantis. “We will not stand idly by as the stability of our country’s economy is threatened by woke executives who put their political agenda ahead of their clients’ finances.”
SAFEGUARDING FLORIDA’S ECONOMIC LIBERTY
Last month, Governor DeSantis announced legislation to protect Floridians from ESG. This legislation would safeguard Floridians’ economic liberty by:
Prohibiting big banks, trusts, and other financial institutions from discriminating against customers for their religious, political, or social beliefs – including their support for securing the border, owning a firearm, and increasing our energy independence.
- Prohibiting the financial sector from considering so-called “Social Credit Scores” in banking and lending practices that aim to prevent Floridians from obtaining loans, lines of credit, and bank accounts.
- Prohibiting banks that engage in corporate activism from holding government funds as a Qualified Public Depository (QPD).
- Prohibiting the use of ESG in all investment decisions at the state and local level, ensuring that fund managers only consider financial factors that maximize the highest rate of return.
- Prohibiting all state and local entities, including direct support organizations, from considering, giving preference to, or requesting information about ESG as part of the procurement and contracting process.
- Prohibiting the use of ESG factors by state and local governments when issuing bonds, including a contract prohibition on rating agencies whose ESG ratings negatively impact the issuer’s bond ratings.
- Directing the attorney general and commissioner of financial regulation to enforce these provisions to the fullest extent of the law.
This proposed legislation builds upon DeSantis’ actions at the August 2022 meeting of the Florida Cabinet where he and the Trustees of the State Board of Administration (SBA) passed a resolution clarifying how investment decisions are made. The resolution states that decisions “must be based only on pecuniary factors [which] do not include the consideration of the furtherance of social, political, or ideological interests.”