This Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis formally approved a measure to protect Florida’s pension program from being invested in accordance with the principles of the environmental, social, and corporate governance movement, known as ESG. The measure would prevent the state’s Retirement System Pension Plan from allocating its assets toward the woke movement.
An official statement from Governor DeSantis stated:
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis and Trustees of the State Board of Administration (SBA) formally approved measures to protect Florida’s investments from woke environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG), ensuring that all investment decisions focus solely on maximizing the highest rate of return. Today’s updates to the Florida Retirement System Pension Plan policy and SBA corporate governance proxy voting guidelines build on actions taken last year to clearly define the factors fiduciaries are to consider in investment decisions, ensuring that ESG is prohibited from consideration.
As stated in the measure, the sole purpose of the retirement system is to maximize the returns dedicated for an individual’s retirement. In other words, the pension program will not forego enticing investment opportunities if they violate any of the principles within the ESG movement. Critics of ESG claim the philosophy conflates profit maximization with politics. For example, instead of pursuing purely objective financial gain racial equity or climate impact can be factored into a business decision.
Ron DeSantis stated in the press release:
“Corporations across America continue to inject an ideological agenda through our economy rather than through the ballot box. 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.”
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis stated:
“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. 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.”
Attorney General Ashley Moody said accordingly:
“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”
“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 public announcement went on to detail future legislative action in relation to ESG that Governor DeSantis will be taking:
In addition to today’s actions, Governor DeSantis has proposed legislation during the upcoming legislative session to codify the actions taken today and rein in the use of discriminatory ESG practices throughout the financial sector by:
- 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.
"*" indicates required fields