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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

DeSantis Plans to Ban ESG ‘Woke Banking’ in Fla.

'We will not allow these martini millionaires to push unsafe and unsound investment practices that silence debate in the political process, weaken investment strategies for Florida retirees and discriminate against any individual’s beliefs...'

(Dmytro “Henry” AleksandrovHeadline USA) Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced proposed legislation on Monday that is designed to end ESG woke banking in the state, stating that it was an “elite-driven phenomenon” that sought to impose policies that the public would never favor.

During his press conference, DeSantis said that ESG — also known as environmental, social, and governance standards — is a “mechanism to inject political ideology into investment decisions, corporate governance, and really just the everyday economy.” DeSantis plans to eliminate ESG’s influence in the state by withdrawing government support from banks that use it and creating protections for citizens, according to the Daily Caller.

DeSantis highlighted ways he believes the standards negatively impact the country and all Americans, including the examples of the United States’ dependence on communist China, violating the company’s duties to their shareholders and undermining the democratic process.

Part of his proposal would put into statute a resolution he issued last August that banned state pensions from considering ESG.

Without regard to ESG, the resolution directed Florida’s fund managers to “invest state funds in a manner that prioritizes the highest return on investment for Florida’s taxpayers and retirees.”

The proposal would also protect Florida residents against discrimination by big financial institutions for their “religious, political or social beliefs.”

DeSantis pointed out that the standards often discriminate against conservative groups, like Second Amendment advocates and companies like The GEO Group, a Florida-based private corrections company that holds a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

During the press conference, Brandon Wexler, owner of Wex Gunworks, said that Wells Fargo, the bank he’s been using for 25 years, shut down his account after he received a letter from the company that stated that it doesn’t lend to “certain types of industries.”

DeSantis’s proposed legislation will also prohibit financial institutions from copycatting China by using “Social Credit Scores” in banking and lending decisions, ban the housing of state or local funds in institutions that promote ESG and ensure that ESG is not used in investment decisions or issuing bonds at the state and local level. The legislation will also direct the attorney general and commissioner of financial regulation “to enforce these provisions to the fullest extent of the law.”

“The goal of corporate activism seen in environmental, social, and governance investing (ESG) is to bypass democracy and transform capitalism to serve an ideological agenda,” Florida House Speaker Paul Renner Renner said in a statement.

“We will not allow these martini millionaires to push unsafe and unsound investment practices that silence debate in the political process, weaken investment strategies for Florida retirees and discriminate against any individual’s beliefs.”

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