On Wednesday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced legislative proposals and administrative actions to protect Floridians from the environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) movement which threatens the vitality of the American economy and Americans’ economic freedom by targeting disfavored individuals and industries to advance a woke ideological agenda. To view a one-pager with more information about ESG and today’s announcements, click here.
“The leveraging of corporate power to impose an ideological agenda on society represents an alarming trend,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “From Wall Street banks to massive asset managers and big tech companies, we have seen the corporate elite use their economic power to impose policies on the country that they could not achieve at the ballot box. Through the actions I announced today, we are protecting Floridians from woke capital and asserting the authority of our constitutional system over ideological corporate power.”
“Woke elites use ESG investing to prop up far left policies, undermining our national security and raising prices for Americans,” said Speaker Designate Paul Renner. “The Florida House will join the fight to stop woke financial titans who seek to dictate policy to Floridians regardless of our choices at the ballot box. I look forward to working with Governor DeSantis to protect Floridians’ pocketbooks and strengthen our national security.”
Governor DeSantis’ proposed legislation for the 2023 Legislative Session will:
- Prohibit big banks, credit card companies and money transmitters from discriminating against customers for their religious, political, or social beliefs.
- Prohibit State Board of Administration (SBA) fund managers from considering ESG factors when investing the state’s money.
- Require SBA fund managers to only consider maximizing the return on investment on behalf of Florida’s retirees.
The proposed legislation will amend Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices statute to prohibit discriminatory practices by large financial institutions based on ESG social credit score metrics. This “ESG score” is a framework created to force companies to meet ESG standards and arbitrarily includes metrics based on political affiliation, religious beliefs, certain industry engagement, and ESG benchmarks. Violations will be considered deceptive, and unfair trade practices will be punished according to the law.
At the next State Board of Administration meeting, Governor DeSantis will propose an update to the fiduciary duties of the State Board of Administration investment fund managers and investment advisors to clearly define the factors fiduciaries are to consider in investment decisions. Environmental, social, or corporate governance factors will not be included in the state of Florida’s investment management practices.
Governor DeSantis will work with likeminded states to leverage the investment power of state pension funds through shareholder advocacy to ensure corporations are focused on maximizing shareholder value, rather than the proliferation of woke ideology.