TALLAHASSEE, Florida (LifeSiteNews) – Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis declared left-wing environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) standards “dead on arrival in Florida” Tuesday with the passage of a resolution requiring state pension investments be made strictly on performance rather than ideology.
DeSantis and State Board of Administration (SBA) trustees passed a resolution directing the managers of Florida’s pension funds to clarify that their fiduciary duties require investment decisions be made “only on pecuniary factors [which] do not include the consideration of the furtherance of social, political, or ideological interests,” such as ESG factors. The resolution also orders a comprehensive review and report on “governance policies over the voting practices of the Florida Retirement System Defined Benefit Pension Plan.”
ESG is essentially a scoring system that incentivizes investing in companies not on the basis of their performance for customers and shareholders but rather on their fealty to so-called “social justice” principles such as diversity and environmentalism. It is one of the reasons why so many once-apolitical businesses have in recent years taken stances on issues such as homosexuality, transgenderism, race relations, and abortion.
In Florida, we don't want the values of Davos, we want the values of Destin, Dunedin and DeFuniak Springs.
The resolution passed today will direct Florida’s fund managers to make sound investments on returns, not woke ideology. ESG is dead on arrival in Florida. pic.twitter.com/swUtiDxSiK
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) August 23, 2022
“Corporate power has increasingly been utilized to impose an ideological agenda on the American people through the perversion of financial investment priorities under the euphemistic banners of environmental, social, and corporate governance and diversity, inclusion, and equity,” DeSantis said.
“With the resolution we passed today, the tax dollars and proxy votes of the people of Florida will no longer be commandeered by Wall Street financial firms and used to implement policies through the board room that Floridians reject at the ballot box,” he continued. “We are reasserting the authority of republican governance over corporate dominance and we are prioritizing the financial security of the people of Florida over whimsical notions of a utopian tomorrow.”
The resolution follows through on plans the governor unveiled last month to counter “woke capital’s” influence on American society, which also includes working with the Florida Legislature to enact new legislation curbing ESG, starting with prohibiting large banks, credit card companies, and other payment processors from discriminating against customers on the basis of political, religious, or social views.
DeSantis, a proactive conservative governor and potential 2024 Republican candidate for president, also called for Florida’s actions to be just the start of a multi-state effort to put collective weight behind anti-ESG influence.
If Florida, Arizona, Tennessee, and Texas worked together, for instance, “we’d have a lot of money, a lot of voting power under management,” he said. “And so we could be a real check against a lot of the excesses that we’ve seen and probably have enough resources to beat back a lot of the stuff.”