Governor Ron DeSantis has pledged to support a series of legislative proposals to protect Floridians and Florida-based institutions from being blacklisted by pension management companies and other financial entities based on their political views, religious or social.
“What you’ve seen is an increase in something called ESG – environmental, social and corporate governance where they (some financial institutions) will rank different companies based on their performance on (woke) metrics,” said said DeSantis during a July 27. press conference in Tampa. “You’ve also seen different institutions colluding to discriminate against certain companies so that they don’t get funding from banks, and you’ve seen asset managers who manage pension funds say things like ‘capitalism of stakeholders’ which takes all of these political factors and injects them into the financial system.
Additionally, according to DeSantis, these so-called ESG policies can also lead some organizations to discriminate against individuals and organizations when applying for credit or using money transmitters such as PayPal.
To oppose the “woke economy,” DeSantis said he would propose a measure in the 2023 legislative session that would ban big banks, credit card companies and money issuers from discriminating against customers. for their religious, political or social beliefs.
He also promised to propose legislation that would prevent managers of State Board of Directors (SBA) funds from considering ESG factors when investing state money, and would require fund managers SBA to only consider maximizing return on investment on behalf of Florida retirees.
Administratively, DeSantis said he will propose an update to the fiduciary duties of investment fund managers and state board investment advisers to clearly outline the factors that fiduciaries must taken into account in investment decisions. These considerations would exclude environmental, social or corporate governance factors from the State of Florida’s investment management practices.
Finally, Governor DeSantis promised to work with like-minded states such as Texas, Tennessee and Arizona to leverage the investment power of state pension funds through shareholder advocacy. so that corporations focus on maximizing shareholder value, rather than proliferating woke ideology.
“This (ESG economics) is an important issue because it raises the question of who governs society,” DeSantis said. “It’s one thing to make a lot of money, some of these people really want to exert power over the rest of us and I think it’s a power play, what we’re doing in Florida is taking a stand against that – we don’t. We don’t want to see the economy politicized, and we want to push back the politicization that has already happened.
Florida’s regular legislative session begins March 7 and runs through May 5.