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DeSantis signs bill limiting ‘woke’ investment practices.

Florida Governor Signs Law Curbing Financial Companies’ Use of ESG Principles

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law a bill that curbs financial companies’ use of ESG principles to govern investment or lending decisions in the state. This move comes as ESG—environmental, social, and governmental—has become a backdoor way for companies to impose woke values on communities that would never approve such things at the ballot box.

Young Socialists Switzerland (JUSO) activists take part in a protest against U.S. investment company BlackRock calling for a climate tax on the rich, on the eve of the WEF annual meeting in Davos, on Jan. 15, 2022. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

Protecting Floridians

The governor said the state had already moved last year to prevent ESG criteria from being used to invest public employees’ pension funds. He said the state has already pulled $2 billion from giant asset management firm BlackRock. This year’s bill expands on that.

  • It prohibits financial institutions from discriminating against customers for their religious, political, or social beliefs—like owning a firearm, securing the border, or increasing the nation’s energy independence.
  • It bans financial businesses from considering “social credit scores” in lending and banking decisions to prevent Floridians from obtaining financial services like loans, lines of credit, and bank accounts.
  • It blocks the use of ESG in all investment decisions by state and local governments, ensuring that only financial factors are considered to maximize the return on investment. That protects retirees and taxpayers alike.
  • State and local governments are banned from using ESG in their procurement and contracting processes and when issuing bonds.
  • It directs the attorney general and commissioner of financial regulation to enforce these to the fullest extent of the law.

Exercising Power Over Society

“ESG is basically just window dressing for doing whatever these people want us to do,” DeSantis said. “They go to a place like Davos and say you’ve got to do all this. And then they try to impose that agenda. So it’s really an elite-driven phenomenon. The ESG is just a way to dress it up.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) and his wife Casey (C) are escorted to their seats for a meeting with the Japanese foreign minister at the Iikura Guest House in Tokyo on April 24, 2023. (Eugene Hoshiko/AFP via Getty Images)

“At the end of the day, they’re trying to exercise power over our society. They’re trying to change society. They’re trying to change policy when it comes to things that they don’t like.”

Protecting Hardworking Pensioners

DeSantis said Florida banks enjoy a special status as the only place where a state with $40 billion in general revenues deposits its money, as opposed to credit unions and other financial institutions. He said they must pay attention to the new laws to keep that business.

“We don’t want any banking or lending practices to be imposing an ideological litmus test on your ability to get a loan, a line of credit, or even a bank account,” the governor said.

He added that Florida businesses should not be using social credit scores, as is done in China. DeSantis said he favors banning the use of a central bank digital currency—a type of crypto issued by the federal government—because he fears the federal government will impose social credit scores as part of its use. The Florida Legislature passed a ban on central bank digital currency in the state.

Conclusion

ESG principles have been used to punish businesses like irrigation or traditional energy production, he said. “If you have a gun store or you’re a gun owner, they don’t like that. There’s certain things they don’t like, and people feel the brunt of that.”

Congress in March passed a measure overturning a pro-ESG Labor Department rule, but President Joe Biden vetoed it, DeSantis said. “So Biden stood with asset managers like BlackRock over hardworking pensioners, and he’s pursuing ideology over the best interest of their retirement. And that is wrong, and that’s not gonna fly here in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said.

Problems Opening Bank Account

Laura DiBenedetto, a Jacksonville area ammunition manufacturer and retailer, talked about the difficulties she faced in opening a bank account due to her business being in the firearms industry. She praised the new law, saying it would help businesses like hers.



" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."

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