NAPLES, FLORIDA — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference in Naples to announce comprehensive legislation to protect Floridians from the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) complex. Joined by Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and House Speaker Paul Renner, the governor proposed new legislation that would protect Floridians from the ESG financial “scam.”
“Today’s announcement builds on my commitment to protect consumers’ investments and their ability to access financial services in the Free State of Florida,” said DeSantis. “By applying arbitrary ESG financial metrics that serve no one except the companies that created them, elites are circumventing the ballot box to implement a radical ideological agenda.”
OUTLAWING ESG IN FLORIDA
According to the governor and state leadership, ESG is a direct threat to the American economy and individual economic freedom. House Speaker Paul Renner and Senate President Kathleen Passidomo said the attempt by the corporate elite to discriminate against those who do not follow a particular ideological agenda will be outlawed in Florida.
“The goal of corporate activism seen in environmental, social, and governance investing (ESG) is to bypass democracy and transform capitalism to serve an ideological agenda,” said House Speaker Paul Renner.
“We will not allow these Martini millionaires to push unsafe and unsound investment practices that silence debate in the political process, weaken investment strategies for Florida retirees, and discriminate against any individual’s beliefs,” Renner added.
PROHIBITS “SOCIAL CREDIT SCORES”
The legislative proposal seeks to protect Floridians 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.
“Governor DeSantis and Speaker Renner have been leaders on this critical issue and it is wonderful to be with them today to discuss concrete steps the Legislature will take this session to protect the retirement funds of state and local employees by guarding against misguided ESG policies,” said Senate President Kathleen Passidomo.
“We want our state employees and local employees – including many classroom teachers and law enforcement who are part of the state retirement system – to have a strong retirement they can count on. We are going to make certain that state funds are managed to prioritize the highest return on investment, as our retirees and taxpayers expect,” Passidomo added.
The proposed legislation builds upon previous actions by the governor and the trustees of the State Board of Administration (SBA) to remove any ESG considerations from state investment decisions.