Category: News

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Measures to Protect Florida State Investments from ESG

January 18, 2023; Updated March 18, 2023

On January 17th, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis has announced he and the Trustees of Florida’s State Board of Administration (SBA) formally approved actions against ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance).

The measures taken by Governor DeSantis and the SBA will ensure investments made by the State of Florida are both protected from ESA and focus on the highest rate of turn instead.

Voting guidelines for Florida’s Retirement System Pension policy have been updated to make sure ESG is not voted for when making investment decisions.

The SBA is an independent financial entity created by Florida’s Constitution (Article IV Section 4 (e)) to manage various funds such as Florida’s retirement funds and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.

The State Board of Administration consists of Florida’s Governor, Chief Financial Officer and Attorney General.

“Corporations across America continue to inject an ideological agenda through our economy rather than through the ballot box,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Today’s actions reinforce that ESG considerations will not be tolerated here in Florida, and I look forward to extending these protections during this legislative session.”

“Thanks to the leadership of Governor DeSantis, the Florida Cabinet reaffirmed today that we don’t want a single penny of our dollars going to woke funds,” said Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. “We need asset managers to be laser focused on returns and nothing more. Florida’s not going to subsidize the actions of a bunch of Leftist ideologues who hate America; we’re not going to let a bunch of rich people in Manhattan or Europe try to circumvent our democracy.”

“As a fiduciary of the State of Florida, I and my fellow trustees have an obligation to make responsible investment decisions on behalf of the beneficiaries we represent — not cater to woke corporate executives trying to force political ideology,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody. “Through this action today, we will continue to fight back against ESG agendas that put partisan ideology ahead of financial returns for Florida’s retirees.”

The approval made on January 17th come from previous actions Governor DeSantis took against ESG in July and August 2022.

Governor DeSantis’s office described ESG as being ‘woke’ and called ESG a “direct threat to the American economy, individual economic freedom and our way of life.”

Governor DeSantis’s office also said ESG is being pushed as a “radical agenda” that would come at a cost to everyday consumers.

Governor DeSantis also proposed legislation for the 2023 Florida State Legislative Session, to take the following actions to prohibit the use of ESG in the State of Florida:

  • Prohibiting big banks, credit card companies, and money transmitters from discriminating against consumers for their religious, political, or social beliefs.

  • Barring financial institutions from considering so called “ESG Credit Scores” in banking and lending practices to prevent Floridians from obtaining financial services like loans, lines of credit, and bank accounts.

  • Permanently prohibiting State Board of Administration (SBA) fund managers from considering ESG factors when investing the state’s money.

  • Requiring SBA fund managers to only consider maximizing the return on investment on behalf of Florida’s retirees.

Much of the backlash against ESG comes as many in the United States are pushing back efforts those they find are pushing a radical agenda that could up end the United States in terms of its finances and way of life. Click here to learn more about ESG.

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