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Florida leaders will consider a proposed resolution surrounding how state investments are chosen

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The Florida Cabinet may ask the State Board of Administration to direct managers away from using environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ratings when investing state money.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody and state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis next week will consider a proposal that would prevent state pension-investment decisions from considering “the furtherance of social, political or ideological interests.”

The proposed resolution comes after calls by DeSantis and Patronis for the State Board of Administration, which oversees investments, to direct pension-fund managers against using environmental, social and governance ratings when investing state money.

So-called ESG ratings can involve considering a wide range of issues in investments, such as companies’ climate-change vulnerabilities; carbon emissions; product safety; supply-chain labor standards; privacy and data security; and executive compensation.

Such practices have drawn criticism from Republicans across the country, and the proposed resolution says “the Biden Administration has made clear its intention to encourage investment using ESG factors.”

The proposal also says that any proxy voting “may not subordinate the interests of the participants and beneficiaries to other objectives and may not sacrifice investment return or take on additional investment risk to promote non-pecuniary factors.”

State investment managers oversee about $250 billion in assets, investing money from the Florida Retirement System and 25 other funds, while also overseeing the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, a major reinsurance program.

DeSantis, Moody and Patronis serve as trustees of the State Board of Administration. They will meet Tuesday as part of a state Cabinet meeting.