DeSantis targets businesses, companies ‘imposing woke ideology on the economy’

Governor announces actions during news conference in Tampa

DeSantis in Tampa (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

TAMPA, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday announced actions against businesses and companies to limit the “politicization of the economy.”

The governor made the announcement during a news conference at a restaurant in Tampa.

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DeSantis said “imposing woke ideology on the economy” has become prevalent among the “biggest economic actors” in the country. He listed examples of Wall Street, banks, major asset managers and big tech companies.

He said 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.”

“And what you’ve seen is you’ve seen a rise of something called ESG — environmental, social, governance — where they will grade different companies based on how they’re performing on those metrics. And then even using that when they’re managing pension funds for people and we’ve got retired teachers, law enforcement, that rely on these pension funds, and they’re putting in all these other criteria rather than just what’s the best investment,” he said.

The governor said Florida would prohibit the State Board of Administration’s fund managers from investing the state’s money based on political factors.

“We want them to invest the state’s money for the best interest of the beneficiaries of those funds, which is again the people that are retired cops and teachers and other public employees. 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,” he said.

DeSantis also said Florida would prohibit Wall Street, banks, credit card companies and money transmitters, like PayPal, “from discriminating against customers for their religious, political or social beliefs.”

“But the thing about the politicization of the economy in this way, it benefits the largest most powerful corporations and it disadvantages the small- and medium-sized businesses. And so this is not something that is empowering kind of a little guy. This is something in many respects that is crushing the little guy and so we want to make sure that we’re standing on the side of average people,” he said.

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About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.