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ALEC in Wall Street Journal: Conservative Group Wants to Stop State Pensions From Pursuing ESG Initiatives

A proposed model bill from the influential right-leaning group ALEC would bar state pension funds from looking beyond returns in their investment decisions


April 6, 2022

State pension funds should be barred from considering social and environmental factors in their investment decisions, a conservative association said in a push for new state legislation that would clash with the financial industry’s efforts to focus on greener investments.

American Legislative Exchange Council, an association of state legislators, on Wednesday put forward model legislation that provides states a template for laws to keep pension funds from following so-called environmental, social and governance trends.

“Politically motivated investing, by definition, takes rates of return off the table,” Jonathan Williams, the chief economist at ALEC, said.

“The minute that they put the hard earned dollars of state employees, and others within state pension systems and use that ESG- or social- or politically-based investing motivation, they’re foisting their political views on the individual retiree,” Mr. Williams said.