TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — On Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast) announced the filing of what he calls “landmark legislation” that would protect Florida retirement accounts and state investments from financial discrimination.
Eliminating the consideration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment strategies have become a focus of the upcoming legislative session after both Governor DeSantis and Florida’s CFO Jimmy Patronis announced that the state would divest from BlackRock Investments after concerns over ESG.
“DRIVE UP THE COST OF LIVING”
House Bill 3, filed by Commerce Committee Chair Bob Rommel (R-Naples), would also protect Floridians from being denied loans based on their political or social beliefs.
“Florida’s investment decisions should be based solely on financial or pecuniary factors, not political virtue signaling through radical ESG investment strategies,” said Speaker Paul Renner. “When financial institutions use ESG to make investment decisions, they drive up the cost of living, undermine our national security, and bypass our democratic process.”
Renner says officials with the responsibility of investing state dollars, like state employee pension fund managers, have a fiduciary duty to act in the sole financial interest of their client and “should not capitulate to the ESG demands of martini millionaires.”
“CIRCUMVENTING THE BALLOT BOX”
Chair Bob Rommel said he is committed to protecting retiree nest eggs from the radical agenda of ESG by ensuring bond rating agencies and financial institutions focus on their fiduciary responsibilities.
“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. Through this legislation, we will protect the investments of Floridians and the ability of Floridians to participate in the economy,” said Governor Ron DeSantis in a recent statement.
Significant portions of the bill would affect state and local bonds, local government investing, purchasing, and contracting. If passed, the law would empower Attorney General Ashley Moody to enforce the bill.
Watch as Speaker Renner explains the dangers of ESG: