Governor Ron DeSantis Proposes Legislation To Protect Florida From Corporations Pursuing or Pushing ‘Woke’ Ideologies

Toby Hazlewood

Acting against so-called 'Woke CEOs'
Gov. Ron DeSantisTwitter of GovRonDeSantis

On July 27, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis announced proposed legislation in the state which is intended to exempt citizens from what he referred to as "the leveraging of corporate power to impose an ideological agenda".

He also hit out at the fact that many corporations have managed to leverage policies that couldn't be accomplished via political means, and that many CEOs have become enormously wealthy in the process.

The legislation is intended to address corporations who use Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance initiatives (collectively referred to as ESG) as grounds for hindering certain groups, businesses or industries under the guise of them being deemed inferior or undesirable.

Florida - "Where woke goes to die"

The proposed legislation seems to be the next stage of measures championed by the governor to make Florida the place "where woke goes to die" as DeSantis put it earlier this year.

The state adopted the 'Stop WOKE' bill into law as of July 1, which prevents the teaching of certain subjects including critical race theory in state classrooms and workplaces. The new corporate initiatives announced by DeSantis on July 27 seem likely to further exert this agenda - to restrict the effects of organizations and individuals who seek to promote ideologies that don't align with the state's Republican leadership.

Commenting on the proposals, Governor DeSantis had this to say:

“The leveraging of corporate power to impose an ideological agenda on society represents an alarming trend. From Wall Street banks to massive asset managers and big tech companies, we have seen the corporate elite use their economic power to impose policies on the country that they could not achieve at the ballot box."

He continued:

"Through the actions I announced today, we are protecting Floridians from woke capital and asserting the authority of our constitutional system over ideological corporate power.”

What will it mean in practice?

The legislation will be considered in the 2023 legislative season meaning that it wouldn't come into effect until later next year.

Proposals suggest an amendment to Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices statute to stop large financial institutions from discriminating based on Environmental, Social or Governance grounds via an ESG credit score. Corporations who violate this practice will be considered deceptive, and unfair trade practices will be punished.

Examples of this in practice could include punishing big banks, credit card companies and money transmitters who discriminate against customers for their religious, political, or social beliefs. It would also prevent the state's administrators from considering ESG factors when investing state money.

While the laws may not yet come into practice, it demonstrates the direction of travel in Florida. So-called woke politics and ideals would appear to no-longer be acceptable in the Sunshine State!

Do you agree with Governor DeSantis for intervening in corporate practices that consider ESG factors? Have you suffered the kind of discrimination that it's intended to tackle, either personally or in your business? Let me know in the comments section below.

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