Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would like to eliminate, or phase out, a system where state investments rely on "environmental, social, governance," or ESG ratings.
DeSantis on Wednesday announced his intention to work with incoming state House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Fla., on putting ESG prohibitions into law sometime next year.
DeSantis says the State Board of Administration, which oversees Florida's various investments, shouldn't be directing pension-fund managers to or away from projects, based on "political factors."
"We want [fund managers] to invest the state's money for the best interests of the beneficiaries of those funds, which is, again, the people that are retired cops and teachers and other public employees," said DeSantis.
According to TheIAEngine.com website, ESG has relevance in the corporate world because, "Usually associated with things like climate change, pollution, and resource scarcity, in reality, ESG covers a much wider spectrum of socio-economic issues like employability practices, diversity, social and cultural ethics, data security, and sustainability."
According to ClickOrlando.com, DeSantis believes that "imposing woke ideology on the economy" has become prevalent among the country's "biggest economic actors."
As such, the investment of funds "should be in the best interest of the state's beneficiaries, not a vehicle to push an ideological agenda and marginalize people that have political disagreements," he added.
Two-plus weeks ago, Florida posted a state-record surplus of $21.8 billion for the recently concluded fiscal year (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022), easily outpacing expectations for that 12-month cycle.
Also, the state's general revenue collections had increased about 24% from the previous year through May, according to Florida's Office of Economic & Demographic Research.
In May, tax collections were $742 million above estimates; and the collections for June were even higher than preliminary estimates, at roughly $950 million, according to the governor's office.
DeSantis later added, "We also are going to require SBA fund managers to only consider maximizing the return on investment on behalf of Florida's retirees. I think that's what people want to see. They want to see a good pension system."
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