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With the New Year’s celebration over and after being re-sworn in as Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis began the year with an important announcement. In conjunction with the Trustees of the State Board of Administration (SBA), they approved “protecting” the state’s investments with a single goal: maximizing the rate of return.
Specifically, the DeSantis administration decided to eliminate ESG when making investment decisions. ESG criteria refer to environmental, social and corporate governance factors that are taken into account when investing in a company.
The Florida State Board of Administration (SBA) is in charge of asset management and is responsible for the investment of state and local public assets. In other words, it is in charge of managing and protecting retirement money for members of the Florida Retirement System, which is made up of school districts (48.15%), counties (23.75%) and state governments (14.94%).
This agency is headed by a board of three entities: the governor, the chief financial officer and the attorney general, who appoint a director in charge of the SBA.
In this case, the board resolved to permanently prohibit SBA fund managers from considering ESG factors when investing the state’s money, to only focus on those investments that maximize investments.
“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,” the governor celebrated.
ESG will no longer be taken into account as an investment criterion
“Everyday Floridians and Americans invest their hard-earned money to maximize profits and generate the most return on investment possible, but fear of retribution by the woke mob and a desire by CEOs to wield power has resulted in the rise of ESG investing which sacrifices returns at the altar of the select few, unelected, corporate elites and their radical woke agendas,” the governor’s office stated in an informational infographic.
DeSantis has already proposed legislation to codify the SBA board’s decision. The text provides for the following items to be signed into law:
- Prohibit large banks, credit card companies and money transmitters from discriminating against consumers based on their religious, political or social beliefs.
- Prohibit financial institutions from considering so-called “ESG credit scores” in banking and lending practices to prevent Floridians from obtaining financial services such as loans, lines of credit and bank accounts.
- Permanently prohibit State Board of Administration (SBA) fund managers from considering ESG factors when investing state money.
- Require SBA fund managers to have only maximizing investment returns in mind on behalf of Florida’s retirees.
Joaquín Núñez es hincha de Racing Club de Avellaneda y licenciado en comunicación periodística por la Universidad Católica Argentina. Se especializa en el escenario internacional y en la política norteamericana // Joaquín Núñez is a fan of Avellaneda's Racing Club and has a degree in journalistic communication from the Universidad Católica Argentina. He specializes in the international scene and American politics.